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Friday, April 06, 2007

Call to raise marine resources

"Concerted efforts involving different stakeholders are the need of hour to enhance marine resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), extending to 200 nautical miles from Indian coastline," H. Mohammed Kasim, Principal Scientist, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, has said.

Dr. Kasim was inaugurating a two-day workshop on `Biodiversity and conservation strategies on the threatened and endangered species of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere,' organised by Fisheries College and Research Institute here on Thursday.

He said that artificial reefs should be deployed in large numbers and sea ranching of various marine species should be carried out to increase the resources depleted through "over exploitation."

Fish potential along the EEZ was yet to be tapped fully as fishermen mostly restricted their activities to inshore waters.

"Though it was estimated that the region had a potential of 3.94 million tonnes per annum, we catch only 2.7 million tonnes of fish," he said.

Of the 2.7 million tonnes caught every year, 2.2 million was captured from the inshore waters.

Hence, fishermen should venture more into deep sea, which has valuable pelagic fish species such as tuna, marlins, oceanic squads and bill fishV.K. Venkataramani, Dean, FCRI, said that use of coracles should be regulated in and around coral reef islands in the Gulf of Mannar to prevent depletion of ornamental fish resources.

"Fishermen who happened to catch the juveniles of angels, damsels, scorpion and wrasse, all ornamental fish species, should return them into the sea to sustain their population," he said.

Dr. Kasim released a training manual for the participants at the workshop.

About 30 lecturers, officials from forest and Fisheries Department and students, from across the State, were taking part in the workshop.

The programme, which was sponsored by the Tamil Nadu State Land Use Board, concluded on 30th March.

Source: The Hindu

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