Mangaluru, Jan 11, 2017: Karnataka will play host to a meeting of fisheries ministers of coastal states in January end or early February. The department of fisheries has already circulated the agenda for the meeting and sought agenda of the other coastal states for this event, noted minister for fisheries, youth empowerment and sports Pramod Madhwaraj.
The union ministry for agriculture and farmers welfare that looks after fisheries will coordinate the meeting, Pramod noted. In an informal meet with media representatives, on the sidelines of inauguration of south zone inter-university kho-kho championship 2016-17 for men on Jan 10, Tuesday, the minister, said the union ministries for home affairs and commerce too have been co-opted in this exercise since the nature of agenda requires their presence. The venue is yet to be decided upon.
"While MHA deals with internal security, commerce ministry plays a vital role in exports, quality, hygiene of fish products that the country exports," he explained.
Main agenda of the meeting is that it seeks to address fast depletion of marine resources off the nation’s coast including over exploitation, Pramod said, adding individual states could bring their own agenda to the table.
"The meeting could look into issue of uniform fishing ban that has been a bone of contention among coastal states," he said. Meeting has been in the offing for quite a some time and union minister Radha Mohan Singh has consented to arrange the same.
On the issue of fish meal processing units polluting the sea with their untreated effluent discharge, Pramod, owner of a fish meal industry himself, said it is for Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to take a call on it.
Not defending the act of such units, Pramod averred effluents do not contain harmful chemicals that could affect the marine life adversely. "The fish would have died even otherwise in natural course and not necessarily due to the discharge," he said.