Sustainability News


Fishery associations and private sector jointly launch FIP to preserve Goa and Ratnagiri coasts sustainability

GOA: 10 August 2017 – 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 international standards.


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.

  1. The implementation of effective fisheries management that prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing and overfishing as well as the protection of wider marine ecosystem.
  2. 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 aquaculture feed.


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”.