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Friday, September 01, 2006

Training in `on-board and onshore' fishing launched

A training programme in `on-board and onshore' fishing, run by the Department of Fisheries and the Fisheries College, Tuticorin, was launched in Chennai on Thursday by Fisheries Minister K.P.P.Samy.

This is the first leg of a training programme that will cover eight major landing centres in Tamil Nadu: Chennai, Pulicat, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Pazhayar, Tuticorin, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari. About 320 fishing crew will be exposed to scientific and responsible fishery practices in this training camp, sponsored by Metro Cash and Carry and DEG, a German funding organisation.

The key elements of the course will be on-board and onshore modules and practical aspects of post-harvest handling of fish.

Mohan Verghese Chunkath, Special Commissioner, Fisheries, said the training would help fishermen harvest the vast potential of marine and inland fishing in Tamil Nadu. The State contributed 13 per cent of the total marine products of the country and its share in the export market was about 15 per cent.

More recently, there are a number of quality control regulations and import regulations to be followed by fishermen, especially in terms of hygienic handling practices. The overall hygiene and cleanliness of fish landing centres would have to be improved.

Eva Murch, head, Food Buying and Merchandising, Metro Cash and Carry, said the aim was to improve the links in the supply chain, benefiting the fisherfolk, suppliers and the consumers. The company had also participated in tsunami rehabilitation works in the State, she added.

Post-tsunami, the State had received a lot of help from NGOs, Mr. Samy said. Increasingly the State was focusing on diversifying from hardcore fishing activities to other income-generating activities. The State had also increased the diesel subsidy to 1,500 litres.

Geetha Jeevan, Animal Husbandry Minister, who released the training handbook, said the department would train fisherwomen in poultry, cattle and sheep rearing to keep the income steady during lean seasons.

Venkat Ramani, Dean of Fisheries College and Thyagarajan, registrar, also spoke.

Source: The Hindu

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