Kochi: In the wake of the rise in sea surface temperature and level, the Centre has signalled making ambitious deliberations on greening the marine fisheries sector.
Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary to the Department of Fisheries, Government of India said India is committed to make plans to address climate change and take measures for greening the marine fisheries sector to ensure that the sector is on a path for sustainability.
“The country would go for appropriate innovative technologies required for de-carbonisation of the sector,” said Mehra, while speaking at a session on greening the fisheries sector at the international symposium on innovations in fishing technologies held here.
Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Panchamrit (five promises)’ to increase the non-fossil energy to 500 GW by 2030 and to ensure that 50 per cent of the energy requirements come from renewable energy, Mehra said the country is determined to set stage for using renewable energy in the fisheries sector.
“In terms of global greenhouse gas emission, India’s fishing sector has a low impact. However, the country will mobilise support to transform the sector and tackle the environmental issues”, added Mehra.
He pointed out that Kerala has shown an example in this regard with some fishermen groups taking efforts to greening fishing vessels by moving from the use of petrol to natural gas.
“Similar initiatives are being emulated in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu by fishermen associations. The transformation process requires extensive training, education and awareness programmes for fishermen and other stakeholders,” said Mehra.
The experts pointed out that the sea-level rise is alarming and suggested technological innovations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change as the global fishing fleet annually consumes about 30-40 million tonnes of fuel and accounts for more than one per cent of the global marine fuel demand.
Hence, a holistic policy and management solution is required to address the problem.
Debesh Lahiri, the Executive Director of the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) said in order to achieve de-carbonisation in the fisheries sector, the fishing ecosystem as a whole should be taken into account, instead of limiting to fishing fuel.
Policymakers, experts and senior government officials from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Thailand besides industry players from across the world took part in the symposium.