Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of ‘World Fisheries Day’ and the ceremony organized by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying in New Delhi today, Odisha has received the ‘Best Marine State’ award while Kalahandi district has bagged the ‘Best District’ award in the inland fisheries sector.
As per a press note released by the State Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department, the two prestigious national level fisheries awards were given by the Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Giriraj Singh in presence of Union Minister of State Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Sanjeev Kumar Balyan.
While Odisha F&ARD Secretary R. Raghu Prasad received the ‘Best Marine State’ award on behalf of the State Government, Deputy Director of Fisheries Sashikant Acharya received the ‘Best Inland District’ award for Kalahandi district.
The ‘Best Marine State’ award carries a financial incentive of Rs 10 lakh while the ‘Best Inland District’ award for Kalahandi district carries a financial incentive of Rs 3 lakh.
Congratulating the Department and Kalahandi district administration for receiving the awards, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in his message stated that Odisha is committed to being a pioneer State in fish production to ensure food security and boost livelihood.
The press note also stated that the Fisheries & Aquaculture sector in Odisha grew at an impressive rate of 18.98 % and produced around 8.16 lakh metric tons of fish during 2019-20. The average annual growth rate of fish production in the State over the last 5 years is over 14%, which is one of the best in the food and agriculture sector. As per the NSSO reports, the share of farmer’s income in Odisha from allied sector activities including livestock and fisheries has significantly increased over the last 2 decades from than 1.5 % to 26%. The seafood exports from the State has increased by 78% in the last 5 years from Rs 1817 crore during 2014-15 to Rs 3243 crore during 2019-20. Currently the State exports over 66,000 tons of seafood, the majority of which is frozen shrimp.
The State Government has taken up massive programmes to boost the fish fingerling production in the State. Four Mega Fish Spawning centres are being set up in the State at Kausalyaganga, Saramanga, Chiplima and Bhanjanagar which will produce continuous and year-round fish spawn. Private fish seed growers and hatchery operators will be supported for quality fish seed production through fish hatchery accreditation and seed certification, as per the press note.