Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHDF), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India has constituted an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Dilip Kumar, Ex-Director & Vice-Chancellor of ICAR-CIFE to prepare a Draft NATIONAL INLAND FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE POLICY (NIFAP). ICAR-CIFE is providing technical support in preparation of this policy.

The Expert Committee intends to collect detailed feedback / inputs on various aspects of inland fisheries and aquaculture sub-sectors of India from different stakeholders. STAKEHOLDERS FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE on Inland Aquaculture Sector including Brackishwater aquaculture have been developed for this purpose and is given below: 

Important Note:
Identify your respondent category (compulsory) and then choose your answers from among the choices given for each question. Questions not relevant to your field may be skipped.

* 1. Name, Position and Address of the Respondent

* 2. Select the Respondent Category you belong to

* 3. Appropriate policy and regulations are necessary for sustainable development of aquaculture sector

* 4. Most of the existing regulations on aquaculture are restrictive, outdated and ad-hoc, and hence need thorough revision

* 5. Compliance level with existing rules and regulations (registration of aquaculture sites/hatcheries/processing plants, etc.) is very low.

* 6. Multiple and increasing demands for freshwater (for domestic, irrigation, industry, fisheries) pose great difficulties in management/development of aquaculture.

* 7. Existing water usage policy does not recognize the minimal right to water for aquaculture

* 8. Non-consumptive nature of water usage in aquaculture (water is used only as a medium & there is only a minimal net usage) deserves to be recognized by water allocation policy (aquaculture shall be treated at par with irrigation and industry for water allocation)

* 9. Lack of effective coordination among different government agencies and Ministries (Irrigation, Revenue, Agriculture, Environment & Forestry, Fisheries) is responsible for under / poor utilization of public owned water bodies for aquaculture

* 10. Lack of institutional mechanisms to resolve conflicting interests of different owners and hindering aquaculture development

* 11. When compared with agriculture, there exists a clear discrimination against aquaculture activities in terms of higher taxation, higher energy / power tariff, higher interest rates, higher water charges, higher cargo charges, etc.

* 12. For further development of aquaculture activities, it should be deferred from being treated as an industrial activity and should be treated at par with agriculture.

* 13. Do you feel the need for introduction of Exotics for diversification of aquaculture?

* 14. Do you agree that presence of exotic fishes (esp. silver carp, tilapia, Pangasius, Thai magur, etc.) have helped in increasing aquaculture production and contributed significantly to fish farmers’ income?

* 15. Present status of exotic fishes demands a clearly defined policy statement on introduction of exotics as well as regulation of its culture in the country

* 16. Existing mechanism to regulate importation of exotic fishes in India (National Committee for Introduction of Exotic Aquatic Species in Indian Waters under Ministry of Agriculture and quarantine systems at all ports of entry) is inadequate and not very effective.

* 17. Participation of farmering communities involved in aquaculture in planning and decision making is essential for greater compliance of conservation measures and reduce degradation of aquatic resources.

* 18. Dominance of IMC in Inland and Shrimp in brackish water scenario will increase the risk and uncertainty for both the producer and the consumer due to disease outbreaks, market failures, etc.

* 19. Technological limitations in seed production as well as culture practices have limited the diversification process i.e. culture of indigenous fish species suitable as candidate species

* 20. There is need for seed certification mechanism to ensure wider availability of quality fish seed

* 21. Strengthening regulations and enforcement is essential for removing sub-standard / dubious seed in the market

* 22. Broodbanks for commercially important freshwater fishes should be established in strategic locations across the country

* 23. Recirculatory aquaculture systems including aquaponics be promoted as urban and peri-urban aquaculture for creating additional employment opportunities & enhancing fresh food fish.

* 24. Incentive be given to promote the culture of medium and minor carps

* 25. Appropriate legal provisions should be evolved to ensure the quality of the aquafeeds in the market

* 26. Comprehensive insurance coverage for aquaculture farms is absent as insurance companies avoid this high-risk enterprise that also does not adopt Good Management Practices (GMPs/BMPs)

* 27. Certification and traceability must be made mandatory conditions in aquaculture

* 28. Extraction of ground water for aquaculture in both coastal and inland areas needs to be strictly regulated

* 29. Appropriate legal provisions must be made for the regulated use of probiotics, antibiotics and chemicals in aquaculture

* 30. In order to meet the demand for new candidate species for aquaculture (species diversification), promotion / introduction of promising exotics is the only viable option?

* 31. Availability of adequate seeds of some exotic fishes like Pacu, Thai magur etc., may compel the Govt. to legally permit their culture in the country

* 32. Strict hatchery accreditation and certification programs must be implemented

* 33. Environmental friendly Intensive/commercial aquaculture practices need to be encouraged and supported in some areas for enhancing fish production

* 34. Ensuring growth & development of aquaculture with minimal ecosystem impact will make any culture system sustainable in long run?

* 35. Periodic desiltation along with control and eradication of weeds are significant measures to make large water bodies like reservoirs suitable for fish culture?

* 36. Privatising State fish seed farms would greatly increase fish seed production efficiency of such units, fish seed supply and meet local demands.

* 37. States should be self-sufficient in terms of seed availability

* 38. Clear-cut guidelines and plans to be laid down for sustainable cage culture activities in open waters

* 39. Aqua-tourism, family / farm stay etc. can be promoted/marketed for creating additional eco-friendly livelihood options at aquaculture sites

* 40. Linking monetary support/incentives with compliance to existing regulations and best management practices (BMPs) would be a good idea

* 41. Adequate number of hands on / skill development training programs are available for farmers to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills to aquaculture

* 42. Domestic fish markets need to be further strengthened focusing on hygiene and increasing consumption

* 43. Promoting stakeholder (fish farmers/sellers) managed fish markets, on the lines of APMC, would be a good idea

* 44. Post-harvest infrastructure should be improved to expand the marketing of aquaculture products.

* 45. Understaffed / overburdened State DoF is unable to provide required extension services for development of aquaculture

* 46. State DoF with the main mandate of fisheries development are involved more in non-fisheries duties, revenue collection and to certain extent in regulatory role than the extension / developmental role

* 47. Capacity development program for DoF personnel on recent technological advances, cross sectoral integration, ICT skills, sustainability concerns, fisheries co-management, etc. are critically required

* 48. Most of the training programs conducted for different stakeholders are ad-hoc in nature without any concern for what happens after the training and are not based on actual training need assessment

* 49. Farmers led extension approach using progressive and fellow farmers for effective adoption and diffusion of aquaculture technologies is the need of the day

* 50. Extension system needs to provide bundle of many services besides technology transfer ranging from arranging seed, feed and credit, market support, conflict resolution, etc.

* 51. Institutional finance for aquaculture development is hardly accessible, unaffordable and highly inadequate

* 52. Lack of local availability of quality seed of desirable species is a major handicap for development of inland aquaculture development

* 53. The term ‘fish farmer’ should be clearly and rationally defined and adhered to by all States / Centre so that both development and welfare measures can be targeted.

* 54. A typical Indian farming household are engaed on multifarming activities including crops, livestock, horticulture, social forestry, aquaculture, etc., depending upon the types and extent of resources available with them and hence there is no need to call them separately as fish farmers

* 55. There is great potential for inputs use efficiency and optimization through integrating various components of family farming activities at farm / household level. This area deserves strategic, technical and financial support

* 56. Provisions be made for institutional financial support in the form of a package covering various farming practices operated at family farm level.

* 57. The current status of aquaculture data collection system and database is weak

* 58. In view of climate change and vulnerability concerns, aquaculture as well as fish farmers are adequately taken care of in the policy and programs

* 59. Labour conditions and practices in aquaculture need to be improved further to comply with national and global standards

* 60. Gender equality as well as mainstreaming must be made integral part of aquaculture value chain (especially in post-harvest activities)

* 61. R&D efforts for inland fisheries and aquaculture need greater focus, and should become application and result-oriented

* 62. Technology user groups like State DOFs, Farmers and their organizations and representatives of other stakeholders’ groups be involved in fixing research agenda of R&D institutions

* 63. Special programs / schemes with adequate funding /credit support for professionally trained unemployed youth / fisheries graduates should be put in place to encourage investment and employment

* 64. Present extension system is very strong and as such extension reforms are not required as of now

* 65. There is a need for a certificate course (six months or more) for educated youth to enable them taking up aquaculture as an enterprise as well as working as farm technicians

* 66. Professionally trained educated youth may be given preference for leasing out government / Local Body / Panchayat ponds for aquaculture

* 67. Small-scale / family farm based aquaculture and small-scale fisheries be mainstreamed into the overall rural development framework.

* 68. Additional Feedback

You are welcome to provide any additional inputs in the form of your opinion on any issues / concerns that affect or related to inland fisheries policy

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