Advisories issued by India's ICAR for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the fisheries sector have now become part of voluntary guidelines issued by the UN body FAO across the globe, the government said on Thursday.
The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), under the government's agri-research body Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), has issued advisories for the domestic fisheries sector in 12 languages.
The advisories are on safety of workers in the sector and preventing the spread of COVID-19, an official statement said.
Recognising the importance of timely advisories by India, Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has included them as voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries under the Asia-regional initiatives for the benefit of fisheries sector across the globe, it said.
"This is a huge acknowledgement of the efforts of the ICAR and its institutes. The global fishery sector is expected to benefit from these efforts...," it added.
While Kochi-based CIFT prepared advisories for the benefit of fishermen, fishing boat owners, fishing harbour, fish market and seafood processing units, Barrackpore-based Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) prepared advisories for stakeholders involved in fishing activities in rivers, estuaries, reservoirs and wetlands.
The COVID-19 pandemic that spread all across the globe leading to lockdowns has significantly affected the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in a multitude of ways in the country, the statement said.
Besides the disruption of fishing activities from open-water, and aquaculture in both freshwater and brackish water systems, several associated activities like seed production, feed plant operation, supply and market chains have been greatly impacted, it said.
As a whole, the fishermen, fish workers, processors and their communities have been facing the threat of the pandemic, which is affecting the entire value chain and the livelihoods depending on it, it added.
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