Appeal To Save Mumbai Research Centre Of ICAR-CMFRI

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Mumbai Research centre of ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (here in after as CMFRI) was established in 1947.  One of the oldest fisheries research station in India. Historically Mumbai CMFRI is one of the oldest premier fisheries research station and have a stellar research history. The centre has been working in alignment with CMFRI’s mandate to

1) Monitor and assess fisheries in Indian EEZ and understanding the impact of climate and anthropogenic activity and develop sustainable fishery management plans.
2.Basic and strategic research in mariculture to enhance production.
3.Act as a repository of marine fishery resources and habitats.
4.Consultancy services; and human resource development through training, education and extension.

CMFRI, Mumbai has been supporting the fisheries management of Maharashtra since 1947 and its interaction with all stakeholders and contribution to Maharashtra are well known
However, in a meeting at Delhi on 29.10.18, it was unilaterally decided that CMFRI Mumbai research centre, which is undertaking research on fisheries aspects, livelihood and impacts will be closed/merged with Fisheries University, CIFE.

The proceedings are unheard of which a national research institute is merged with a university whose soul mandate is to create skilled persons necessary for the sector by enabling them to do Masters and PhD.

With the importance of Fisheries, Blue Economy, Millennium Sustainable Development Goals, countries are increasingly depended on policy matters and Govt of India itself opening of several institutes in other states like Tamilnadu like National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) at Chennai by MoES on 15 July 2017., National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) at Chennai on 20th April 2018. by MOES. Another one in planned in Goa., the current move to close down only marine fisheries research institute in Maharashtra is coming as a surprise.

The closure/merger of CMFRI with a University, will have detrimental impact on the coastal communities living in its 720 km coastline, 456 fishing villages and nearly 1 lakh fishermen family who solely depend on marine fisheries.

National research institutes like CMFRI, have its research stations in all coastal states and have the mandate to look in to policy, resource management in its 2.02 million sq. km EEZ and losing a state from its coverage area is against national interest too when international organisations are looking at CMFRI for national data considering its vast network, despite its absence in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Laccadive Islands.

With the increasing stakeholders and usage of seas and threats to oceans around Maharashtra, the closure/merging of Mumbai centre of CMFRI will have its impact. It will be better the CMFRI to continue the activities and safeguard the activities of Maharashtra fishermen.

With so much potential loss to the fisheries sector, CMFRI and nation, it makes no sense to merge Mumbai RC with Fisheries University, CIFE Mumbai, the logic for merging a centre should be based on the necessity of science rather than convenience but they must justify to the nation and their own conscience as to what motivated and justified this move.

Fisheries are location specific and geographically they have separate characteristics, absence of CMFRI in Andaman and Laccadive Islands have impacted in the fisheries management in Islands.

All coastal stated and Islands should have a separate CMFRI research centre.

We hope that this move will be looked at once again in view of the above points and that favourable action will be taken. 

Thank you