Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Wednesday called for an effective, permanent solution to disputes with Pakistan and Sri Lanka relating to fishermen while stressing on a global policy of security for them.
India, the world’s second-largest fish producer, has more potential to grow in the fishery sector, but that should be done in a sustainable way and safeguarding environment, he said.
Addressing the 7th General Assembly of World Forum of Fisher Peoples, Naik said there are conflicts within South Asia as scores of Indian fishermen are jailed in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails.
“This needs immediate attention to resolve the issue. We must strive towards effective, permanent solutions through sustained dialogue,” he said.
According to Naik, this issue should be resolved seriously. In fact, there should be an international policy to ensure security of fishermen fraternity and address different problems facing the sector, he suggested.
Highlighting the potential in the fishery sector, the governor said any scale-up in fish production should not be done at the cost of environment, he added.
“Increasing commercialisation through industrial fishing is a matter of concern. I think we need a policy to restrain unnecessary exploitation of nature and natural resources,” said Naik.
The country’s fish requirement is estimated to be 16 mt by 2025 and there is scope to increase fish production from 11.41 mt in 2016-17, he added.
India has an estimated fisheries potential of 4.41 mt from marine resources and 15 mt from inland fishery resources, he added.
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the government has launched ‘Blue Revolution’ and the National Policy on Marine Fisheries to harness the potential in the fishery sector.
The measures being taken will empower fishermen and help increase their income, he added.
Earlier, talking about saving environment, the UP governor said the meeting is held at a time when the national capital is struggling to find ways to fight pollution.
The pollution is caused by multiple factors, most of them created by humans. “Environment issue in Delhi is a challenge to everyone. Everyone is trying to solve the problem. Be it the Centre or states, it is necessary to give relief to aam aadmi at the earliest,” he told reporters on the sidelines.
Maharashtra and Kerala fishery ministers were present at the event, besides senior officials of the National Fishworkers Forum.