Seafood Of India

Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

Blog Post

Securing Sustainable Seafood Exports: Marine Mammal Conservation Takes Center Stage

The inextricable link between marine mammal conservation and India’s seafood export industry was underscored at a recent workshop held at the 16th Agricultural Science Congress (ASC). Experts highlighted the importance of adhering to the US Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which mandates the protection of marine mammals during commercial fishing activities.

“The US is a major importer of Indian seafood, accounting for a significant 33% of the country’s total seafood export value,” remarked P Anilkumar, Joint Director of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in Kochi. He emphasized the potential repercussions of non-compliance with the MMPA, which could jeopardize India’s seafood exports to the US and consequently impact the livelihoods of fishing communities.

The workshop also shed light on the current status of marine mammal research in India. A Gopalakrishnan, Director of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), explained that research efforts rely on a combination of stranding data, offshore and onshore surveys, and bycatch estimates.

E Vivekanandan, a marine mammal expert, underscored the complex and demanding nature of marine mammal research, emphasizing the need for collective support from biologists, veterinarians, environmentalists, and conservationists. He further elaborated on the primary focus of marine mammal research in India, which encompasses estimating stock status, understanding the correlation between environmental factors and abundance, assessing climate change impacts, and developing effective conservation measures.

The ASC workshop delved into the crucial role of marine mammal conservation in safeguarding India’s seafood export industry and acknowledged the challenges and opportunities associated with researching these species. Participants emphasized the need for a collaborative approach to marine mammal conservation, bringing together stakeholders from government agencies, research institutions, fishing communities, and non-governmental organizations.

Dr Sijo Varghese, Zonal Director of Fishery Survey of India, Dr J Jayasankar, Dr Prajit KK, Dr Grinson George, Dr K R Sreenath, and Dr R Ratheeshkumar also contributed valuable insights to the discussion, highlighting the multifaceted nature of marine mammal conservation and its significance for both environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.

The workshop’s emphasis on marine mammal conservation serves as a timely reminder of the delicate balance between economic activities and environmental protection. By prioritizing sustainable practices and adhering to international regulations, India can not only safeguard its seafood export industry but also contribute to the preservation of marine ecosystems for future generations.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *