Aquaculture has seen exponential growth since 2009-10 in India with a projected export figure of 5.6 billion US dollars and the country could ambitiously target foreign exchange of 10 billion dollars by 2020 through export, Karnataka Fisheries Minister Pramod Madhwaraj said. Inaugurating the three-day 'Aqua Aquaria India 2017' event, organised by Marine Products Export Development Agency here today, he said satellite imaging technology using GIS applications and mobile apps for real time monitoring had been introduced in the aquaculture sector for improved performance. The minister said AAI 2017 would help the farming community to identify priority areas and work towards future. Cultured shrimp now contributed over 70 per cent in terms of quantity, about 80 per cent in terms of export value and over 53 per cent in terms of value of seafood exports, he said, terming it as a significant achievement for India's aquaculture sector. Madhwaraj said that India's west coast, comprising states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, also offered huge potential for aquaculture which should be tapped with ecological safeguards He said it was significant that MPEDA chose this city in the west coast for the fourth edition of AAI. The minister said the Karnataka government was in the process of formulating a new inland policy for fast development of aquaculture and ornamental fishery. The state government would extend all necessary cooperation to ensure that sustainable progress was made for development of coastal shrimp farming in the state under a rapid action plan, he said. In his keynote address, Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateelsaid more such events should be held in the west coast region for the benefit of farmers of aquaculture and ornamental fishes and for the general public and students. MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak in his opening remarks said AAI provided a platform for showcasing the latest technological interventions in both aquaculture and ornamental fish culture. The coastal shrimp aquaculture production had crossed five lakh tonnes during the last couple of years with the combined efforts of various stakeholders like hatchery operators,feed manufacturers, input suppliers and processors, he said.
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