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ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA), Chennai, organized training and demonstration programs in collaboration with Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore, Tamil Nadu, on “Recycling of fish waste to value added products, CIBA-Planktonplus and CIBA-Hortiplus” for empowering and uplifting the lives of coastal communities at Rameshwaram taluk, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu during 8- 10th August 2023.

The training and demonstration event addressed the challenges faced by the coastal communities of Ramanathapuram, who intricately have been dependent on fisheries as a primary source of income. However, the abundance of fish waste generated during processing has posed environmental concerns. The program featured a series of presentations, hands-on training and demonstrations that covered the entire process of recycling of fish waste. Experts from ICAR-CIBA showcased innovative techniques for converting discarded fish parts into an array of value-added products, CIBA-Planktonplus and CIBA-Hortiplus .

Dr.P.Mahalakshmi, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIBA, Chennai, narrated the demonstration and extension activities conducted in various coastal states by ICAR-CIBA for different stakeholders for enhancing their livelihood through fish waste to value added products. Dr. Debasis De, team leader of the innovative fish waste recycling technology and Head of Research Centre, Kakdwip Research Centre of CIBA, Kakdwip, briefly explained the importance of this technology and described the protocol for recycling of fish wastes to value added products and their usage in commercial aquaculture and agriculture and also their marketing potential. Dr. K.P.Sandeep, Scientist, CIBA, highlighted that this initiative is not only cleaning and hygienically disposing the fish waste which is abundantly available in the village cluster but also will help to generate wealth from waste. CIBA scientists informed that Dr. Kuldeep K.Lal, Director, ICAR-CIBA had emphasized to promote this technology across the country. Thus PlanktonPlus technology of ICAR-CIBA helps to promote waste free coastal fish market, to uplift the livelihood status of fisher folk and helps to make a stride towards Swachh Bharat Mission.

Mr. S. Tamil Selvaraja, CEO, Rameswaram Segaram Fish Farmers Producer Organisation (RSFFPO), Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, expressed his gratitude to CIBA for empowering coastal communities including the members of RSFFPO through fish waste recycling technology.

About 100 villagers participated in the programmes along with Dept of Fisheries officials, farmers, panchayat leaders, Self Help Group members, students, Segaram Fish Farmers Producer Organisation members and scientists from ICAR-CIBA, Chennai. Dr.Debasis De, Dr.P.Mahalakshmi and Dr.K.P.Sandeep, Scientists, CIBA, coordinated the programmes and addressed all the queries raised by the participants. The programs were organised with funding support from Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, New Delhi under the project entitled “Establishment of DBT rural bio-resource complex at Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu”.

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