City ‘fishes’ for a global tag

City ‘fishes’ for a global tag

It has been reported that in the US, the Tilapia Fish is the fourth most eaten seafood in the USA, behind shrimp, salmon, and canned tuna.

It has been reported that in the US, the Tilapia Fish is the fourth most eaten seafood in the USA, behind shrimp, salmon, and canned tuna. Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes and less commonly found living in brackish water. To cater to the growing demand of its popularity, Vijayawada is likely to become a global exporting center of the fish tribe soon. The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) and the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Aquaculture (RGCA) are promoting this sea food with Andhra Pradesh as the major cultivator. As the fish has international demand and is equally the most sought after species for domestic consumption, the RGCA and the MPEDA have, with due clearance from the Central government, established a hatchery and a demonstration center at Manikonda in Krishna district. Andhra Pradesh, as it is claimed, is the largest producer of fish products in the country. The State has fresh water culture in over 75,000 acres, which is seen as the hub of fresh water aquaculture. Tilapia, in all probability would be the major aqua product that would have global demand in the years to come.

Keeping all these factors into consideration, the RGCA in association with the MPEDA are hosting a national summit – India Tilapia Summit 2014 – in the city today. The summit will feature international scientists. One of them, Dr Ram Bhujel, director of the Aqua Center, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, will deliver the second memorial lecture of Dr EG Silas, India’s most revered personality in fisheries and aquaculture research, in this one day summit. Scientists like Dr Lind Curtis from Malaysia, market analyst from USA, Angel Rubio, Prof. Ory Lahav of Israel, Dr Ruel Eguia of Philippines will be part of the summit. The world food prize laureate and former assistant director general of World Fish Center, Dr M Vijaya Gupta, will deliver the keynote address.

“Tilapia is considered as the common man’s fish. But it is also a delicacy in several Asian countries and used as the main dish during important events and ceremonies,” said the MPEDA deputy director Dr S Kandan.

“India, particularly Andhra Pradesh, is blessed with ideal tropical climate and bountiful land and water resources, has immense potential to promote the farming activity of Tilapia in a big way. This would not only boost up aquaculture production for domestic consumption but also provide an opportunity for processing, value addition and export of Tilapia,” Dr Kandan added.

He asserted that the summit would place Vijayawada on the global market in making the most favoured sea food of the world – Tilapia – available.

“The summit will provide an interactive platform for the Tilapia experts, aquaculture scientists, fish farmers, industry practitioners, stakeholders, government officials, policy makers and the academe from within the country to discuss, share insights on relevant issues to popuralise the farming, processing, value addition and export of this species,” he added.

By: D Gopi

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