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Maharashtra & Goa Trawl (By-Catch) Fishery Improvement Project

Published: April 8, 2023

Key stakeholders from the fisheries industry in Maharashtra & Goa came together to launch a new fishery improvement project titled Maharashtra & Goa Trawl (By-Catch) Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). The program was launched in the presence of Dr. Bhavesh Sawant, Associate Research Officer, TMBRS in Mumbai. The stakeholders signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) indicating their strong intentions to support and develop the project for the overall benefit of the fishing industry. The Fishermen societies that signed the MOU include Shri Bhagawati Macchimar Society Ratnagiri, Ratnadurg Macchimar Sahakari Society, Adarsh Macchimar Sahakari Society, Mazgaon Macchimar Vividh Karyakari Sahakari Society Ltd., Mumbai, Shree Martand Prasanna Colaba Matsyaudyog Karyakari Sanstha, Maharashtra Rajya Macchimar Sahakari Sangh Ltd, Vaishnavi Mata Matsya Vyavasay Vividh karykari Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit , Sagari koli Society Vasai.

Fishery industry stakeholders from Maharashtra & Goa launch Fishery Improvement Project (FIP)

In his opening address, Dr. Bhavesh Sawant Congratulated Omega Fishmeal and Oil Private Limited and TJ Marine Products Pvt. Ltd. for their effort in undertaking the 2nd FIP for ensuring the sustainability of resources for responsibly managed fisheries. He expressed happiness over the progress of ongoing FIP on Indian Oil Sardine and Indian Mackerel along coast of Maharashtra and Goa & requested the Government of Maharashtra to extend full support in implementation of both projects.

Dr. S Ramkumar, Scientist In Charge, CMFRI Mumbai, highlighted the importance of conservation of fisheries and its management for maintaining sustainability. He lauded the efforts of Omega and TJ in taking up the FIP for Trawl by-catch and extended full co-operation from his institution.

Mr. Ramdas P. Sandhe, Director, Maharashtra Rajya Machhimar Sahakari Sangh Limited appreciated the initiative taken by Omega Fishmeal and Oil Private Limited and TJ Marine Products Pvt. Ltd. In his speech he said that during early years, bycatches that came along the trawl fishing were going as waste or put out for drying and the fishermen could hardly get any value from them. But since then, efforts have been made by the industry to produce value added products from these bycatches, and the fishermen started making good earnings. While addressing the participants in the meeting he requested the State Fisheries representatives to extend their full support to the initiative taken by the Omega and TJ.

Mr. Duncan Leadbitter, Project Manager and the Director of Fish Matter Ltd Australia briefed the project in detail to the audience and cleared their doubts.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Prakash Shingare, Associate Dean, College of Fisheries, Ratnagiri, Mr. Y.A. Chaugule Joint Commissioner of Fisheries Mumbai, Dr. Asha K.K., Scientist In-charge CIFT Mumbai, Shri N V Bhadule, Asst. commissioner of Fisheries Ratnagiri, Dr. Karan Ramteke Scientist CIFE Mumbai, . Mr. Shri Chandrakant Velip Deputy Director, Goa Fisheries and Office bearers of Major Fisherman Societies from Mumbai and Ratnagiri.

From the industry, Mr. Amol Patil & Mr. Manoj Kushe (Directors OMEGA FISHMEAL AND OIL PRIVATE LIMITED), Mr. N. A. Badruddin (Managing Director TJ MARINE PRODUCTS PVT. LTD.) and Mr. Narendra Patil (Director, Sonia Marine Exports Private Limited) attended the meeting.

The Project will be implemented by OMEGA FISHMEAL AND OIL PRIVATE LIMITED & TJ MARINE PRODUCTS PVT LTD, Exporters of marine feed ingredients (fish meal & fish oil) from Ratnagiri. This is the Second FIP being implemented by Omega Fishmeal & Oil Private Limited & T J Marine Products Pvt Ltd for meeting the growing international market requirement with regards to sustainability of sea foods towards India’s drive for earning more export earnings.

Additional information
The Trawlers contribute more than 30% of the marine catch from the state. A Significant portion of the by catch which does not have any demand in the edible fish market are either discarded or not properly used. This material can be used for fish meal production and thereby increase the revenue earning of fishermen.

By catch includes the incidental catch and discards. The non- targeted catch is generally considered as the incidental catch. The incidental catch and discards were earlier thrown back into the sea due to the preservation issues and poor economic viability. Judicious exploitation of by catch for fishmeal production will definitely improve the revenue earning of fishermen and subsequent impact on their livelihood.

Trawl is most common gear contributing to a majority of the marine catch and it accounted for nearly 40 % of the total production from the country. It also contributes more than 75% of the marine products exported from India from capture fisheries sector. In India the practice of bottom trawling was introduced for shrimp fishing and the fishes caught by trawler other than shrimps were considered as by catch. It is generally considered that in trawling the percentage of by catch was more than 80% of the targeted catch.

Implementation of FIP not only benefits the fisheries but also help access to international supply chains that rely on evidences of sustainable / responsible Production. Development of FIP is a proof of true intention of the Government and related Sea foods Industries effort to create a responsible managed fishery for the business taking in to account the problems of IUU fishing and over fishing that resulted in the depletion of fish stock for the past several years. Apart from that the project will help to improve the living condition and efficiency of fishermen, better fishery management and governess together with environmental responsibility and transparent traceability of fishery products throughout the supply chain.

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