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| Last Updated:28/11/2017

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World Fisheries Day

                                           WORLD FISHERIES DAY - NOVEMBER 21, 2017

       A special day to celebrate fisheries and fishermen on November 21. As each year passes, we increase our appreciation and reasons for celebrating this occurrence. Each year brings us news good or bad about the fisheries in the vast oceans. This occasion offers us a time to celebrate and reflect on our involvement and responsibility with the fish resources and with the people that bring us the bounty of the oceans.


Origins of World Fisheries Day
        The origin of World Fisheries Day occurred on the same day that an international fishermen’s organization was formed in New Delhi, India. The World Fisheries Forum (WFF) was established on November 21, 1997. On that day, fishing representatives from 18 countries signed a declaration advocating for a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies. The creation of WFF was founded on the common principles of sustaining the fishing communities, sustaining the fisheries, social justice, and preserving the cultural history of fish harvesters and fish workers.


Fisheries at a glance
        Tamil Nadu is a leading state endowed with rich fishery resources from Marine, Inland and Coastal Aquaculture. Tamil Nadu has a coastal length of 1076 km (13% of the country’s coast line) 0.19 million sq.km if EEZ (9.4% of the India’s EEZ) and a continental shelf of about 41,412 sq.km. And is one of the leading states in marine fish production. The marine fisheries potential of the state is estimated at 0.719 million tonnes (0.369 million tonnes from less than 50mt. depth and 0.35 million tonnes beyond 50 mt. depth. The Gulf of Mannar Region at the southern tip of Tamil Nadu is recognised as the richest marine bio diversity region in the world.

         The Inland Fishery resources comprises of reservoirs, rivers, Seasonal Tanks, Upland waters, Estuaries, Brackish water areas, Creeks, Swamps etc., which are suitable for both capture and culture fisheries. The fishery resources have a potential to yield 4.5 lakhs metric tones of fishes. (Ref: http://www.fisheries.tn.gov.in/aboutus.html).


        The World Fisheries Day helps in highlighting the critical importance to human lives, of water and the lives it sustains, both in and out of water. Water forms a continuum, whether contained in rivers, lakes, and ocean. Fish forms an important part of the diets of people around the world, particularly those that live near rivers, coasts and other water bodies. A number of traditional societies and communities are rallied around the occupation of fishing. This is why a majority of human settlements, whether small villages or mega cities, are situated in close proximity to water bodies. Besides the importance of water for survival and as a means of transportation, it is also an important source of fish and aquatic protein. But this proximity has also lead to severe ocean and coastal pollution from run-off and from domestic and industrial activities carried out near-by. This has led to depletion of fish stocks in the immediate vicinity, requiring fishermen to fish farther and farther away from their traditional grounds. Besides, overfishing and mechanization has also resulted in a crisis - fish sticks are being depleted through 'factory' vessels, bottom trawling, and other means of unsustainable fishing methods. Unless we address these issues collectively, the crisis will deepen. The World Fisheries Day helps to highlight these problems, and moves towards finding solutions to the increasingly inter-connected problems we are facing, and in the longer term, to sustainable means of maintaining fish stocks.

     In this regard the Director urges to the general public -
“World Fisheries Day celebrations serve as an important reminder that we must focus on changing the way the world manages global fisheries to ensure sustainable stocks and healthy oceans ecosystems.