Kochi, May 10: Recent advances in sustainable aquaculture and ornamental fishery as a money-spinning export industry will dominate the proceedings of the fourth edition of Aqua Aquaria India (AAI), a showpiece event of Asia’s marine sector being held in Karnataka’s port city of Mangalore from May 14-16.
“Diversification in Sustainable Aquaculture” is the focal theme of the three-day biennial exposition, the largest aquaculture-cum-aquariculture shows in Asia, organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), a nodal agency of the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry dealing with promotion of marine products export and allied activities.
Hon’ble Minister for Fisheries, Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of Karnataka ShriPramodMadhwaraj will inaugurate the event. ShriNalin Kumar Kateel, MP, will deliver the keynote address. Department of Animal Husbandry, Diarying and Fisheries (DADF) Secretary ShriDevendraChaudhry will also address the assemblage.
To be held at Nehru Maidan, AAI 2017 will showcase the latest strides in aquaculture and ornamental fish breeding and rearing technology to encourage diversification and intensification in a sustainable manner. It will also discuss current challenges and hammer out a roadmap for giving a fillip to the resurgent aquaculture sector, the mainstay of India’s marine products economy.
MPEDA Chairman Dr. A. Jayathilak said the AAI 2017 offers an excellent platform for aquaculture farmers and ornamental fish breeders to gather latest knowledge in farming practices and acquire practical information.
“The objective of the show is to motivate farmers to adopt the latest technologies for enhancing aquaculture and ornamental fish production and exports and creating employment,” he added. “It is befitting to organise the show in the major port city on the west coast to generate more awareness on aquaculture and ornamental fish.”
This is the first time the AAI is being organised in the west coast of India. It is also the MPEDA’s maiden event in Karnataka.
Around 3,000 delegates from India and abroad are expected to participate in the mega event where 250 stalls would display various production and harvest technologies, machinery and accessories in the export-oriented aquaculture as well as ornamental fishery sectors. The delegates would comprise farmers, entrepreneurs, hatchery operators, feed manufacturers, input suppliers, manufacturers and suppliers of various aquaculture and aquarium implements, from around the world.
Internationally acclaimed experts on aquaculture and aquariculture from India and abroad will address technical sessions on topics of current interest.
As for the seafood industry, India is the second largest aquaculture producer in the world, the second largest exporter of shrimps to Europe and the largest exporter of shrimps to the US. Indian seafood exports have been growing significantly over the past five years with figures of US$ 5.5 billion in 2014-15. The country exported 9,45,892 MT of seafood worth 4.7 billion dollars in 2015-16, and is expected to achieve US $ 5.6 billion in 2016-17. MPEDA has envisaged a target of US$ 10 billion for seafood exports for the year 2020.
Aquaculture contributes around 70 per cent of the total marine products export earnings of India. The US and South-East Asia are the major importers of Indian seafood, and frozen shrimp continues to be the major export item followed by frozen fish.
The global aquarium fish trade, including accessories and fish feed, is estimated at US$ 18-20 billion. India contributes 0.61% by quantity and 12.42% by value (USD) in the global ornamental fish trade, but the ornamental fish and aquatic plant industry is fast gaining importance due to its tremendous economic opportunities and prospects.
Globally, more than 2,500 species of ornamental fish are traded, but only 30-35 species of freshwater fish dominate the market. More than 90 percent of freshwater fish are captive bred whereas only few marine ornamentals are bred in captivity.
The first edition of AAI was held in Chennai in 2011 and the last two editions in Vijayawada in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
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