Commemorating the Significance of Fisheries
World Fisheries Day is observed annually on November 21st to highlight the importance of sustainable fisheries management and to draw attention to the critical role of small-scale fishers in ensuring food security and livelihoods for millions around the world. This global event serves as a platform to raise awareness about the challenges facing fisheries, including overfishing, habitat destruction, and climate change.
World Fisheries Day 2023 Theme
The theme for World Fisheries Day 2023 is ‘Celebrating the Wealth of Fisheries and Aquaculture’.
India’s Position in the Global Fisheries Sector
India stands as the third largest fish producer in the world, contributing 8% to global fish production. The country also holds the distinction of being the second largest aquaculture producer, the largest shrimp producer, and the fourth largest seafood exporter. The fisheries sector plays a pivotal role in providing sustainable incomes and livelihoods to approximately 3 crore fishers and fish farmers across India.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY): A Vision for Sustainable Fisheries
To further strengthen the fisheries sector and enhance its contribution to the national economy, the Indian government launched the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) in 2020. This ambitious scheme aims to achieve a fish production target of 22 million metric tonnes (MMT) and generate seafood exports worth Rs 1 lakh crore by the financial year 2024-25.
Global Fisheries Conference India 2023: A Forum for Collaboration and Innovation
In conjunction with World Fisheries Day 2023, the Department of Fisheries, Government of India, is organizing the Global Fisheries Conference India 2023. This two-day event, held on November 21st and 22nd at the Gujarat Science City in Ahmedabad, is themed ‘Celebrate the Fisheries and Aquaculture Wealth’. The conference provides a platform for industry experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to share knowledge, exchange best practices, and explore innovative solutions for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector.
Recognizing Excellence in Fisheries
The Government of India recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations in the fisheries sector through a series of awards presented during World Fisheries Day celebrations. These awards honor the best performing States, districts, and organizations in the Inland, Marine, Hilly, and North-eastern regions. Additionally, individual awards are presented to the best fish farmers, hatcheries, fisheries enterprises, fisheries co-operative societies, and individual entrepreneurs.
The Genesis of World Fisheries Day
The roots of World Fisheries Day can be traced back to 1997 when the “World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers” convened in New Delhi. This landmark gathering led to the formation of the “World Fisheries Forum” with representatives from 18 countries. The forum’s founding declaration advocated for a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies, paving the way for the establishment of World Fisheries Day.
World Fisheries Day serves as a crucial reminder of the need to protect and manage our marine and freshwater resources responsibly. By adopting sustainable practices and fostering international collaboration, we can ensure a healthy and productive fisheries sector that continues to provide food security and livelihoods for generations to come.