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  • Q. Please tell us about the key milestones and latest activities achieved by CIFT so far?

    A. There is a huge list of milestones to the credit of CIFT. In the Harvest sector, 80% of the 54,000 mechanized fishing crafts in the country are based on ICAR-CIFT developed 12 standard designs in the size range 7.6 m to 15.2 m LOA. The institute has played a major role in developing standardized gear designs and fishing systems CIFT has designed and developed fuel efficient combination fishing vessel SAGAR HARITA (19.75 M). Under NEEL KRANTI MISSION, ICAR-CIFT has designed Deep sea fishing vessels for the government of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar Administration and Lakshadweep. Our scientists have developed alternative energy based solar powered boat “CIFT Sunboat I & II” for inland fisheries and eco-tourism. We have optimized fishing systems such as purse seines, gill nets, trawls, long lining, traps, etc. We have introduction of alternate materials – rubber wood, coconut wood or FRP for developing fishing canoes. Our scientists have developed resource specific by-catch reduction / juvenile exclusion devices including Turtle Excluder Device for sustainability. The institute has been providing policy support and standards development for harvest sector. In the Post-Harvest Sector, CIFT has significantly contr
  • Q. What are the future programmes at the institute?

    A. The various future programmes at CIFT include the development of responsible fishing systems for sustainable utilization of fishery resources; nanomaterials for prevention of biofouling and corrosion; nanosensors or electronic sensors for fish quality assessment; protocols for processing and packaging of emerging species; and value addition and utilisation of secondary raw materials. Apart from the the biodegradable and intelligent packaging; energy optimization in harvest and post-harvest; seafood authentication; developing low cost fish processing machinery; nutraceuticals from aquatic sources; proteomics, metabolomics; toxicological risk assessment and AMR – One Health Approach; the institute is also tracking emerging contaminants. The policy support and technology backstopping for governmental agencies are among key activities of the CIFT.
  • Q. How has CIFT helped in designing and developing energy efficient fishing systems? What is its long term economic or other benefits?

    A. ICAR CIFT has designed and developed a19.75m energy efficient combination fishing boats/vessel for deep-sea which is now adopted as the model for deep sea fishing by the Government of India under the Blue revolution scheme. Subsequently, 90 such boats are being constructed/ operated successfully by fishermen of different states of India. The profitability of this venture lies in the savings in fuel consumption upto 15%, improved quality of fish caught due to efficient on board refrigeration system, use of hydraulic systems to reduce drudgery in fishing, direct ownership by nearly 700 fishers etc. Long term benefits include the sustainability through saving of energy; conservation of resources through diversification of fishing from trawling to long lining-gillnetting; better quality fish to consumers of domestic or export market besides higher durability of fishing and low maintenance costs due to use of materials of ship building standards. It also helps in reducing intersectoral and international conflicts.
  • Q. The union government has laid great emphasis on putting India on top spot in Fish production globally & for the same, announced Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). How is CIFT contributing towards this goal?

    A. PMMSY has envisaged some promising schemes to boost the fish processing sector of India. As fish processing has tremendous potential for achieving the target of DFY by 2022, the new schemes proposed under PMMSY has rightly kept the provision to address the critical gaps in the fish value chain management system, starting from pre-processing, processing, storage, chilling, packaging etc. which include infrastructural development, modernisation of plants, traceability, increase in production, quality raw materials availability, value added product development, dry fish production, fish waste management, hygienic marketing, and quality maintenance. ICAR-CIFT being a premier research organisation in harvest and post-harvest technologies in fisheries, is well equipped with cutting-edge enterprising technologies in post-harvest management, which may help in realizing the vision of doubling farm income (DFY) by 2020. Some of the initiatives include design and construction of multipurpose model deep sea fishing vessel. Under the Blue Revolution scheme Tamil Nadu and Gujarat states, we have constructed and operated deep sea fishing vessels successfully. The first batch of 16 vessels was constructed by Cochin Shipyard (Navaratna Company)
  • Q. According to you, what are the critical gaps within fisheries sector in India? How can we overcome these?

    A. Among the gaps, there is pressure in the near shore and deep sea due to increase in fishing capacity. The way forward in this case is the need for development and implementation of conservation technologies for minimising negative impacts of overfishing on resources and environment Another issue is scarcity and cost of timber resources for boat building, biodegradation and corrosion. In this case the way forward is intensive work on alternate boat building materials and application of nano technology for corrosion prevention Yet another issues is the low level mechanization of inland fishing systems is an issue too. It can be addressed by development of appropriate harvesting technologies for inland fisheries and aquaculture. The suitability of newer forms of additives in seafood processing is an issues that can be mitigated by risk assessment of additives. The problems such as outbreaks of food poisoning due to consumption of seafoods can be tackled by source tracking of seafood-borne pathogens. Among other issues are species substitution and economically motivated adulteration. This can be addressed by authentication of seafood using molecular and lipidomic approaches. Lack of hazard assessment for pesticide and antibiot
  • Q. PMMSY aims at doubling fisheries, fish farmers and fish workers incomes by 2024. Does it look achievable to you?

    A. Yes, this is definitely possible in the fisheries sector. As fish is considered as most affordable nutritious food among all food commodities, there is great demand for fish and shell fish across the globe. Identifying its key role in addressing the issues on food security and nutritional security, the Union government as well as state governments are giving lot of scope to increase fish production and its availability. However, due to high perishable nature, it’s always a challenge to maintain quality and address the concerns about its safety. In the area of fish post-harvest, due to lack of hygienic handling, lack of proper cold chain facilities and adequate infrastructure, the fish caught is downgraded and fetching low values. By improving handling practices onboard, on the landing centres, markets, the quality can be maintained, which will definitely attract more value ensuring better returns to fishers. By way of improving cold chain facility and infrastructure to store, transport and market fish in safe and hygienic way, post-harvest losses can be minimised and this will again add value to the harvested catch. CIFT has already developed and successfully transferred refrigerated fish vending kiosks for ensuring hygienic f
  • Q. What are the untapped opportunities that need to be cashed on?

    A. At present we do not add value to the harvested catch and majority of catch is marketed in fresh condition. By converting whole fish into ready to cook, ready to fry, ready to serve convenience products for both domestic and export market, will help in increasing the income to both fishermen and processors. There is a huge demand for value added products like coated and speciality products from fish and shell fish. By simple technology interventions, many high value products suitable for different section of people will ensure doubling farm income. The rest raw materials or waste generated while processing can be converted into high value by-products which have medicinal, nutraceutical, pharma and industrial applications. This area is not at all addressed at present and by establishing a mechanism to establish units for development of these products will add additional revenue. Another important area is production and marketing of dried and cured fish products for domestic market. By employing energy efficient driers and packaging systems developed by CIFT, high value hygienic dried products can be developed which have tremendous demand in the local markets. Many entrepreneurs have already have adopted these technologies and
By Karuna Dhoundiyal

A tribal woman farmer showing lights on ornamental fisheries

26 Apr 2024

Dipali Mahato
Ornamental fishery farmer

Name : Dipali Mahato

Designation : Ornamental fishery farmer

Name : Mr Anil Ghanwat

Designation : President, Shetkari Sanghatana

Name : Dr Bindu R. Pillai

Designation : Acting Director and Head, Aquaculture Production and Environment Division, ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture

Name : Dr O.P. Yadav

Designation : Director, ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur

Name : Ravishankar C.N.

Designation : Director, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT)



10 Apr 2024

Telecommunications Engineering Centre & ICAR release joint technical report

Telecommunications Engineering Centre & ICAR release joint technical report on how smart technologies can be integrated into traditional farming