- The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2023 was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
Major Highlights of the Bill
- The Bill seeks to amend the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act 2005.
- The Bill seeks to decriminalise the offences under the Act for promoting ease of doing business and to fine-tune the operational procedures of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority.
- It also has a provision to prevent the use of antibiotics and pharmacologically active substances which are harmful to human health in coastal aquaculture.
- Objectives: It aimed at promoting newer forms of environment-friendly coastal aquaculture including cage culture, seaweed culture, marine ornamental fish culture, and pearl oyster culture which has the potential for creating additional employment opportunities.
- It is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, algae, and other organisms in all types of water environments.
Potential in India
- India is the 3rd largest fish producing and 2nd largest aquaculture nation in the world after China.
- The Blue Revolution in India demonstrated the importance of the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector.
- The sector is considered as a sunrise sector and is poised to play a significant role in the Indian economy in near future.
- In the recent past, Indian fisheries have witnessed a paradigm shift from marine-dominated fisheries to inland fisheries, with the latter emerging as a major contributor to fish production from 36% in the mid-1980 to 70% in the recent past.
- Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY): the Government of India approved the flagship scheme, Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), in May 2020 under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat COVID-19 relief package with a vision to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector.
- New sub-scheme named Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana (PMMKSSY) announced in the Union Budget 2023-24 to further enhance the earnings and incomes of fishermen, fish vendors and micro & small enterprises engaged in the fisheries sector.
Issues and Challenges
- India is yet to catch up with its global counterparts in quality infrastructure, tech adoption, and financial inclusion.
- The farmers and other stakeholders sometimes were worried about poor exports and fall in prices in the international market.
- Scientists and aquaculture farmers have suggested a comprehensive approach involving various stakeholders and government departments to address issues confronting the sector.
- Scientists stress the need for comprehensive legislation and an inter-state mechanism for fisheries management across the country.
- A co-management system with the active participation of fishers is the solution.