Union Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday announced an investment of Rs 400 crore in Goa to make the coastal state a fisheries hub in the country.
Talking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan in Dona Paula area near here, Mr Singh said Goa has the potential for highest fish production in the country.
Goa also has the capacity to become a “fisheries hub” in the country, he said.
“The Centre has already considered Rs 400 crore investment in the fisheries sector of Goa, which would be jointly raised by the Union government, the state fisheries board and others,” he said.
The Union government has already sanctioned Rs 41.47 crore (out of the said amount) to the state, which will revive the fisheries industry and ensure safe fishing, he said.
The plan includes creation of 30 fish landing jetties, so that fishermen can anchor their boats near their villages, he said.
“These jetties would be linked to the mainstream by constructing roads,” he said, pointing out that Goa already has nine landing jetties, which are used for fishing and tourism purposes.
He said the Goa-based CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has found that 200 sq km area in the coastal state is feasible for cage culture (an aquaculture production system where fish are held in floating net pens).
“The issue was raised with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, which has certified that 72 sq km area off Goa could be brought under cage culture, in view of the fact that the state government will have to ensure tourism is not affected,” Mr Singh said.
An area of 72 sq km has the capacity for installation of 30 lakh cages, he said.
“This will encourage safe marine cultivation for the fishing sector. Goa has the potential to have highest fish production in the country,” the minister said.
This will also provide necessary support to the Goa- based fish processing units which are dependent on neighbouring Karnataka and Maharashtra for raw material.
The central government will also appoint ”Sagar Mitra” for each of the 70 fishing villages in Goa, who will help the fishermen liason with the government, Mr Singh said.