Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2023

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    In News

    • 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. 

    Aquaculture

    • 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. 

    Initiatives 

    • 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.

    Way Ahead 

    • 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.

    Source: TH