Speaking after the inauguration of the 17th edition of the India International Seafood Show 2010, a mega fair organised jointly by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) here on Friday, he said support would be given to an effort to give agriculture status to fisheries and the Union Cabinet would consider the move if such a concept was forwarded to it.
‘I will support any move by the Agriculture Ministry in the direction of encouraging fisheries sector which should receive incentives and credit packages like that of farm sector,’ he said.
He said the seafood exporters should ensure better quality control and upgrade their technology to garner a bigger share in the global market. Anand Sharma stressed on the need to upgrade the MPEDA labs for preharvest and post-harvest quality checks to meet global standards.
He assured the exporters the government would take up the issue of export obstacles put up by some countries at the appropriate forums.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture K V Thomas said the proposed Marine Fisheries Regulation and Management Bill would protect water resources and strengthen national security.
Referring to fears expressed by some states that the Bill would curtail their rights, he said their fears were proved wrong at a recent interministerial consultation in Delhi.
‘The main aim of the Bill is not to impose restrictions on the rights of states or fishing community but to regularise fishing in the context of national security,’ he said.
Tamilnadu Fisheries Minister KPP Samy listed out the various welfare measures accorded to the sector in the state which had implemented a number of schemes to protect and revive fishing activity in the aftermath of tsunami havoc.
Orissa Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout mentioned the steps taken out by his government to promote fisheries sector. MPEDA chairman Leena Nair and SEAI president Anwar Hashim also spoke on the occasion.