6 Key fishery societies, fishmeal producer and aquatic feed manufacturers
today sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is state-of- the-art practices in
India, to support Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) as part of their strong intention to
promote sustainability in the supply chain of fisheries and related products along the
coastal of Goa and Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra.
The associations and private sector include Ratnadurga Macchimar Society, Adarsh
Machchimar Society, Mandovi Fishermen Marketing Co-op Society Ltd, Vasco Fishing Boat
Owners marketing Co-Op Society Ltd, Zuari Fishermen Marketing Co-Operative Society Ltd,
Cutband Boat Owners Development Society, Omega Fishmeal and Oil Private Limited and
CPF (India) Private Limited. The signing ceremony has been witness by concerned
government agencies as well as non-government organization comprise of Department of
Fisheries, Central Institute of Fishing Technology, Ratnagiri Fisheries College, and
representative from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).
The launch of FIP project will focus on Indian Oil Sardine in the West Coast of India confine
to the coastal of Goa and Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra. The MoU aims at improving
efficiency of fisheries management and governance, fostering food safety, environmental
responsibility, and transparent traceability of fisheries products throughout the supply
chain, promoting sustainability in the fisheries products supply chain to meet with
In addition, the project will be guided by the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil
Organization (IFFO) UK. It is an International non-profit Organization which represents
fishmeal and fish oil producers around the world. Its vision is to ‘enhance human and
livestock health and welfare via superior nutrition to the benefit of consumers worldwide.
The organization will also certify responsible practice both in terms of the sustainability
aspects of raw material sourcing and the safe production of fishmeal and fish oil
ingredients, which may use for aquaculture, agriculture and consumer product purpose.
Mr. Sandesh Surve, Chairman of Ratnadurga Macchimar Society said the MoU draws to
present strong intention among all stakeholders in the seafood industry to protect marine
resources. They commit on four key practices including:
1. Fisheries products must come from responsible fisheries sources and can be
traceable throughout the supply chain.
2. Supply chain must be transparent. Related information shall be clearly
communicated among international buyers and all stakeholders.
3. The implementation of effective fisheries management that prevent, deter and
eliminate IUU fishing and overfishing as well as the protection of wider marine
4. The development of credible monitoring and traceability system that reduces IUU
fishing and protects those that respect the rules.
“Development of FIP is a proof of true intention of the Government’s and related Seafood
industry’s effort to create a sustainable fishery for the business taking into account the
problems of IUU fishing and overfishing that resulted in the decline of Sardine stock for the
past few years. This will be the First Project in India that applies the latest version of IFFO
Responsible Supply Standard (IFFO RS), which is an internationally accepted standard
designed specifically for responsible fisheries according to UN FAO requirement,” said Mr.
Imran Mukadam, Chairman, Adarsh Machchimar Society, Mirkarwada.
Mr.A.B. Salunkhe, Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries (Ratnagiri) noted that considering
the view of sustainable fisheries Maharastra state government taking good initiation for
some rules and regulation (MMFRA – 1981) to overcome the conflicts between traditional
fisherman and mechanized fisherman. From 1983 this act is implemented by state fisheries
department. As per the changing situations or conflicts, change in fishing activities, change
in gear some new provisions are made in this act as per need. State fisheries department
taking good initiatives by imposing some rules and regulations in different types of fishing
activities specially in marine fisheries.
“Government is under process with good infrastructure like speed boats, specially using for
act implementation to over the problems considering sustainable fisheries. Collaboration
among stakeholders to promote FIP in Ratnagiri and GOA will be a parallel effort from
private sector creating a long-term sustainability to our ocean” said Mr.A.B. Salunkhe,
Assistant Commissioner of Fisheries (Ratnagiri)
Dr.Leela Edwin, Principal scientist and Head of fishing Technology Division of CIFT
stressed on the need for using the optimum sized gears with proper mesh sizes to prevent
landing of juvenile fish which affects the sustainability of the fishery in the long run.
Harvesting of Mytophids a poorly exploited resource plentifully available in the Arabian sea
and Indian ocean would be an alternative to the high value food fish in the production of
Mr. Amol Patil, Director, Omega Fishmeal & Oil Ltd said that they are committed to
sustainable fisheries and the FIP will provide a platform for the stakeholders to jointly act
for the conservation of resource and ensuring steady supply of raw material to the fish
meal industry. He added that association with CPF and IFFO in undertaking the project will
bring tangible result for the better management of the industry and increased demand for
high quality fishmeal from the country by fulfilling the latest International requirements.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) welcomes the announcement from CPF India,
Omega Fishmeal and oil company, Government sectors and fisheries on the launch of this
fishery improvement project. This type of collaborative approach is critical to enhancing
the sustainability of these fisheries, and we hope the project will serve as an example for
others in the region.
Mr. Duncan Leadbitter, FIP project manager, pointed that the IFFO RS is the most suitable
for the marine fisheries resource management in India especially for the Indian oil sardine
fish stock. This FIP will ensure the effective management of sardine resources for the
development of fisheries for maximum sustainability. Mr. Lead bitter, who is also a director
of Fish Matter Ltd from Australia and also fishery expert in the Pacific Ocean and South East
Asia Sea for more than 20 years, will present guidance on best practices to help those
involved members to achieve goals.
Dr. Sharmila Monterio Director of Fisheries Goa said that “It is very hearting to see that
the processing industry has come forward to have an FIP for Indian oil sardine. Indian oil
sardine fishery is a very important Fishery for the State of Goa. Together with Mackerel it
contributes to about 50% of the total marine fish catch of the state. It is a power packed
fish, rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids and is called the provider for the fisherman.
Two years back we saw a very huge production of Indian oil sardine followed by a drastic
dip. Last year the catch has again shown a sign of improvement. It is a small sized pelagic
shoaling fish having multiple spawning period and is easily affected by changes in
temperature and other environmental factors.
However it can be sustainably managed through the join efforts of the Government,
Fisherman and the Industry and the Fisherman can be assured of a steady income. With the
IFFO RS certification for the Indian oil Sardine, fishmeal and fish oil will definitely command
a better price in the International market”