Port Blair, Oct. 19: The online data collection of marine fish catch from 74 fish landing points/ centers in the Islands with the support of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi has been launched today. This is the first time the marine fish catch data is collected from the archipelago with statistically supported software. The move was the outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ICAR-CMFRI and the Department of the Fisheries of the Andaman and Nicobar Administration.

As part of the MoU, ICAR-CMFRI introduced its sampling methodology for the estimation and analysis of the catch data through Fish Catch Survey and Analysis (FCSA) software from landing centers of the islands by using electronic tablets. The Department in collaboration with CMFRI also trained the enumerators and deployed to collect the catch data using ICAR-CMFRI methodology.

In a brief function held today in the mini conference hall, Secretariat, Shri G Sudhakar, IAS, Secretary (Fisheries) announced the launch of online fish catch data methodology of CMFRI’s methodology in the Islands.       The programme was participated by Director and team of Scientist from CMFRI, Cochin and Officers and Field Officials of the Department of Fisheries through online mode.

Speaking on this occasion, the Secretary (Fisheries) expressed his happiness on the commencement of the programme for generating a reliable database on marine fish catch and fishing efforts which will help fix various developmental plans in the island’s marine fisheries sector. The support of CMFRI will help estimate both resource-wise and fishing gear-wise fish landings, he said. He also sought ICAR-CMFRI’s technical support in the development of deep-sea fishing, seafood clusters, promotion of mariculture activities, like seaweed farming and cage fish farming in the Andaman Islands.

In his address, Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI highlighted about the contribution of his institute on collecting marine fish catch data from all the fish landing centres in the country using this software, which is recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. “Though the data is collected for research purposes, CMFRI shares the information with the government of India and the coastal states who have inked MoU with the institute”, he said. ICAR-CMFRI already signed MoU with Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in collecting marine fish catch data.  He also remarked that the A&N Islands have huge potential for highly prospective for the marine ornamental fishery, seaweed farming and cage fish farming and assured all technical support for promoting these activities.

Earlier, Shri Harminder Singh, Director of Fisheries, A&N Administration also spoke on the benefits of online Fish Catch Data Collection for effective planning and Development of Fisheries in A&N Islands.

Dr. J Jayasankar, Principal Scientist of ICAR-CMFRI and Dr K Gopal, Joint Director of Fisheries, Andaman & Nicobar Administration also spoke on the occasion.