Central Minister Parshottam Rupala and Dr. L. Murugan jointly laid the foundation stone for the nation’s inaugural Fisheries Aquapark, specifically the “Multipurpose Seaweed Park” in Tamil Nadu
Chennai, 02 September(City Times): Central Minister Parshottam Rupala and Dr. L. Murugan : In a landmark development aimed at revolutionizing India’s fisheries and aquaculture sector, Parshottam Rupala, the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, and Dr. L. Murugan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, and Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, have jointly laid the foundation stone for the nation’s inaugural Fisheries Aquapark, specifically the “Multipurpose Seaweed Park” in Tamil Nadu.
The government’s Department of Fisheries is dedicated to strengthening this vital sector and positioning India as a key investment hub for fisheries and aquaculture. To achieve these goals, they have initiated the “Sagar Parikrama Yatra” program, which is designed to raise awareness about the sustainable use of marine fishery resources and the protection of marine ecosystems.
Program Witnessed A Significant Milestone
In its eighth phase, which took place from August 31st to September 2nd, 2023, along the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, this program witnessed a significant milestone as the Honourable Ministers laid the foundation stone for the ground-breaking Multipurpose Seaweed Park. This ambitious project, with an approved investment of Rs. 127.7 crore, is set to become a pioneering centre for seaweed cultivation, research and development, and a crucial training facility for local communities.
India’s first Fisheries Aquapark
The Multipurpose Seaweed Park is envisioned as India’s first Fisheries Aquapark and is based on a hub-and-spoke model. It aims to promote the cultivation and conservation of seaweed, a valuable marine resource, while serving as a research and development center for scientists and researchers to study different species of seaweed and their potential applications. The park will also provide training opportunities for local communities, creating awareness and employment opportunities in the burgeoning seaweed sector.
Interaction With fisherwomen Engaged In Seaweed Cultivation
Shri Parshottam Rupala, in his interaction with fisherwomen engaged in seaweed cultivation at the Mandapam center of CMFRI, emphasized the park’s objectives, including seaweed cultivation for employment generation among coastal fisher youth and fisherwomen. The project also involves the development of value-added seaweed products and supports the establishment of seaweed processing units within the seaweed park. Additionally, it includes the development of a seaweed seed bank, exploration of untapped seaweed potential, and the establishment of R&D centers for producing high-quality
Empowering Coastal Livelihoods
In an endeavor to uplift the lives of coastal fishermen and enhance their economic prospects, Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, laid the foundation stone for the Sagar Parikrama Sea Voyage Project. This significant initiative aims to connect with fishermen in coastal areas and improve their livelihoods. Remarkably, Tamil Nadu becomes the pioneer state in India to launch this program, promising employment opportunities to fishermen across six districts.
An integral part of this effort is the Seaweed Project, which holds the potential to empower women economically through its diverse applications, ranging from food to pharmaceuticals. Rupala emphasized the need for efficient implementation and distribution of this project, highlighting the availability of Kisan credit cards for fishermen. As an encouraging start, 374 individuals in Ramanathapuram district have already registered under this scheme, receiving a total financial assistance of Rs 4.71 lakh.
Addressing Fishermen’s Concerns
In response to the longstanding demand from fishermen to lift the ban on sea cucumber, L. Murugan, Hon’ble Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, assured that an official decision will be reached following discussions. With a significant allocation of over Rs 18,000 crore to Tamil Nadu out of the total Rs 38,500 crore, the government underscores its commitment to supporting the state’s fishing communities.
In recognition of the fishermen’s needs, plans are underway to introduce an air ambulance service, providing critical healthcare access to coastal areas. Additionally, a collaborative approach is being taken to address regional concerns. A special committee, consisting of ministers from both India and Sri Lanka, is set to convene to discuss a permanent solution to the Katchatheevu issue, exemplifying a commitment to cooperative problem-solving.
Investing in a Sustainable Future
The Multipurpose Seaweed Park project in Tamil Nadu marks a significant stride towards sustainable development. Spearheaded by Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister, and supported by various dignitaries, this project aims to promote seaweed cultivation and conservation. It encompasses a broad vision of engaging coastal communities in seaweed cultivation across 136 fishing villages in six coastal districts of Tamil Nadu.
With a workforce of 8,821 individuals, the project intends to improve livelihoods by establishing tissue culture labs, R&D facilities, and essential infrastructure. By facilitating skill development, capacity building, storage, marketing, processing, and value addition, the seaweed park provides comprehensive support for entrepreneurs and processors. Beyond its economic impact, the park seeks to conserve marine ecosystems and educate visitors about the vital role seaweed plays in sustaining marine life. Thus, this initiative not only reflects human ingenuity but also promises to safeguard the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystems.