With the firm threat imposed on fishery resources and marine ecosystems by fishing pressure and climate change, there is an urgent need to rebuild fish stocks in order to meet the raising food demand and maintain the ecological balance. In response to this need, a highly informative side event was held on 14TH February 2023 at the side-lines of the WGFTFB23 to discuss various dimensions related to past experiences, emerging challenges, and enabling policies in deploying artificial reef, and to discuss the different aspects that correspond to successful ranching programs in the future. The event brought together a wide range of experts in the field, including researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.
The overall objective of the event was to deepen the participants' understanding of the issues and challenges for deploying artificial reefs based on practical experiences, as well as the issues and challenges for stock enhancement and sea ranching. The event also aimed to develop strategies towards deploying artificial reefs and sea ranching for the region, with a special focus on India.
Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI, Kochi, provided a warm welcome to the participants and set the agenda for the day's proceedings. This was followed by opening remarks from Shri. Jatindra Nath Swain, IAS, Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Government of India, who highlighted the importance of artificial reefs and sea ranching for rebuilding fish stocks and maintaining ecological balance in the face of mounting threats to marine ecosystems.
The technical presentations were hosted by Dr. J.K. Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of ICAR, DARE, GoI, and Dr. E. Vivekanandan, Senior Scientific Consultant of ICAR-CMFRI and BOBP-IGO. These sessions delved deeper into the topic, providing a detailed analysis of the latest research and findings related to sea ranching and artificial reefs.