On Sunday, Union Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh proclaimed that the Centre will be investing Rs 400 crore in the project of making Goa the country’s major fishing hub which will include cage culture among the other things. He also said that Rs 41 crore has been sanctioned already under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.
In a press conference held at Raj Bhavan, Singh said, “The cage fishing will be introduced in Goa on a big scale, with both fisherman and entrepreneurs, including private players, participating in it.” He also mentioned that the state is ready to put up a minimum of 30 lakh cages for fish farming.
“The National Institute of Oceanography-Goa through its survey has observed that cage culture in Goa can be taken up in an area of up to 200 sq mts of water, while the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has maintained that cage culture can be safely carried out in area of 72 sq mts of water,” he added.
He also mentioned that the Centre intends to initially to start with setting up 1000 cages.
While speaking of the areas that can provide a huge amount of fish to the country, Singh said, “There are around 70 villages here where fishing takes place.”
“Thirty landing centres and jetties for fishing boats will be developed with road connectivity as part of the fisheries hub as also for tourism purposes,” he said.
During his three days official visit to Goa, Singh while speaking at Dona Paula said, “We have just started a seaweed complex in Tamil Nadu, a similar one for seaweed and ornamental fish can be set up in Goa.”
“Since Goa is one of the main tourism centres, ornamental fisheries can lead to very good employment and income. For this, about Rs 30 crore will be given for an aquarium with the formation of a cluster in ornamental fisheries. With an investment of Rs 5 crore, 50 fish vending kiosks, especially for women, and retail fish markets will be developed in Goa,” stated Singh.
“The Centre has also decided to develop a fishing harbour in Vasco Bay with the help of the ministry of shipping. There are about 300 fishing boats and 1,200 people in the area who have been facing a lot of difficulties for long,” said Singh.
“We are not only registering and insuring all fishing boats in Goa but work is on to tag them to provide them with technological assistance so that it enables fisherman to know where the fish concentration is more,” mentioned Singh.
Sagar Mitras will be implemented in the 70 villages providing fish to educate the people dependent on fishing regarding fisheries.
State Fisheries Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues said that a state policy needs to be put forward for cage culture and also mentioned that cage culture will reduce the pressure on aquatic life.