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The union ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry & dairying recently discussed on the issues faced regarding insurance coverage for fisheries and aquaculture with industry stakeholders and sector experts.

On 29 December, the department of fisheries, organized a national Webinar on “insurance coverage for fisheries and aquaculture", which was presided by Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, department of fisheries (DoF) attended by farmers, fishermen, entrepreneurs, fisheries associations, officials of department of fisheries, officials of different states, faculties from state agriculture, veterinary and fisheries universities, fisheries research institutes, fisheries cooperative officers, among others.

A statement from the ministry said that, Jatindra Nath Swain noted that that fundamental issue is the lack of understanding of the concept of insurance amongst the stakeholders and suggested that necessary outreach and capacity building programmes should be undertaken to build trust to attract private and other global insurance players to the fisheries sector.

He highlighted that most of the stakeholders who demand insurance policies are from the marine sector and briefed about the Group Accident Insurance Scheme (GAIS) provided by the department of fisheries. He said that necessary legislative provisions may be incorporated in the Marine Fisheries Regulation Acts (MFRAs) as a first step to gradually enhance the adoption of fisheries insurance.

Sagar Mehra, joint secretary, highlighted the coverage of capture fisheries insurance and aquaculture insurance policies adopted across various countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas for industrial and smaller fishing vessels and large aquaculture operations among others.

L.N. Murthy, Senior Executive Director, NFDB explained about the multiple opportunities of the sector and stressed upon the threats posed by the fishers and fisherfolks such as threats during fishing at sea, threats in culture practices among others.

He explained about the insurance products which have proven to be beneficial for them. He also insisted upon the formulation of the insurance products by universities and academic institutions. He said that sustainability, profitability and productivity are the way forward for the fisheries sector.

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