Semi-commercial exploitation of Myctophid resources in the Arabian sea
Acoustic survey results by US-GLOBEC have indicated a potential resource of about 100 million tons of mycto-phids in the Deep-sea Scattering Layer (DSL) of the Arabian sea. The dominanat myctophid species is Benthosema sp.have a life span of less than a year. This essentially means that the huge biomass of myctophids is generated and sustained on an annual basis. India with its know-how in the harvesting of myctophid resources developed during the 9th plan under the MLR programme, is in a position to exploit these resources initially on a semi-commercial basis. The focus of the project will be to estimate the stock potential, develop appropriate harvest, post-harvest and mark-eting strategies and understand the dynamics of the system that sustain the a huge biomass of myctophids.
Deep-sea and Distant water Fisheries
Efforts made by CMLRE under the MLR scheme since 9th plan period has provided valuable information on the bio-composition and resources distribution of demersal fishes in the 200-1000 meter depth area of the Indian continental slope. To quantify the resource availability and develop deep-sea fishery advisories, it is necessary to have detailed catch information in fine grid resolution covering all seasons. During the Xlth plan, efforts will be made to obtain all such information required for the preparation of deep-sea fishery advisories. The advisories will be field tested and disseminated to various user agencies.
The water column in the areas are also rich in cephalopod resources, mid water fishes like horse mackerel and oceanic species like tunas, for which separate harvesting technologies need to be developed. Since FORV Sagar Sampada is not equipped to harvest the above said resources, it is proposed to have a new vessel during the XIth plan, which can also supplement the southern ocean requirement on MLR. Another major activity proposed during the next plan period is the survey and assessment of resources in the Central Indian Ocean. This area is known to have rich resources of tunas and many varieties of fin fishes including the deep-sea orange roughy.
It is now well established that the environment plays a key role in the recruitment success of many commercial fisheries. Inter-annual variations in key environmental parameters viz. upwelling patterns, mixed layer distribution, thermocline structure, sea surface temperature anomalies, nutrient distribution etc. affect the primary productivity and transfer of food to other trophic levels. The CMLRE, through systematic surveys covering the entire Indian EEZ, has developed a strong database on the seasonal met-ocean parameters. This in conjunction with similar activities proposed during the Xlth plan will be used to model the trophic structure of the marine ecosystems and to explain the inter-annual fluctuations in the marine fishery. These studies are critical in developing strategies befitting to a possible climate change scenario.
Southern Ocean MLR
India is associated with the Southern Ocean MLR since 1989 and there is a need to strengthen our R&D efforts in the exploration, exploitation and conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Taking this into consideration, the CMLRE has proposed 2 expeditions to the Southern Ocean, the first one during January 2008 coinciding with the International Polar Year and the second during 2010. Through these efforts, the potential resources of krill and fin-fishes in the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean will be assessed. The fishery industry will be encouraged to diversify the fishing efforts to the central Indian ocean and the Southern ocean.
These include bio prospecting for novel anti-microbial peptides from marine biota, toxin extraction from poisonous and venomous marine organisms, commercialization of marine pearl culture, separation and purification of bioactive compound from marine organisms etc.