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Marine pollution posing challenge to fish trade, human health: Experts

Experts on Tuesday expressed concerns over rising marine pollution saying that it was posing a “great challenge” to the fish trade and also to the health of consumers. “The issue of marine pollution due to anthropocentric activities needs immediate attention,” said K Sunil Mohamed, Principal Scientist and Head, molluscan fisheries division of the Central Marine Fisheries research Institute.

He was addressing a symposium on ‘Aquaculture and Marine Biotechnology for Human Health’ at the ongoing 102nd India Science Congress here. “This (marine pollution) poses a great challenge to the (fish) trade and (to health of) consumers,” Mohamed said, adding that “major species are depleting rapidly which require major policy and governance decisions to ensure sustainability of resources for future.”

Assistant Director General of Hyderabad-based World Fish Centre, Vijay Gupta said, “Fish is the most important component of the food basket in developing countries.” He said though India is the second largest producer of fish, there is a huge gap between the country and China, which is the top fish producer. “The improved strain of ‘Jayanti Rohu’ fish provides new hope to fish farmers for increasing productivity and profitability,” he said.

Observing that inland saline aquaculture is another promising field, Gupta said aquaculture biotechnology using “genetic manipulation” could solve future fish food requirements. “The success of fish breeding holds a great promise for inland aquaculture and conservation of endangered species,” he added. The symposium was chaired by Prof W S Lakra, Vice Chancellor, Central Institute of Fisheries Education.

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