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International Workshop On Green Certification Of Ornamental Fish

Preparation of guidelines for Green Certification is a pioneering attempt to introduce eco-friendliness and product quality for ornamental fish in the domestic and international arena

October 23, 2008

International Workshop On Green Certification Of Ornamental Fish

 

October 14-18, 2008, Kochi, India

 

Sri. G. Mohan Kumar, Chairman Marine Products Export Development Authority inaugurated a five day workshop on the Green Certification of Ornamental Fish. The workshop was organized by MPEDA in association with project PIABA, Brazil and UNCTAD, to develop guidelines on production and trade of green certified ornamental fish.

 

Preparation of guidelines for Green Certification is a pioneering attempt to introduce eco-friendliness and product quality for ornamental fish in the domestic and international arena.

 

The workshop dealt with green certification - or eco-labeling - to increment a fair value of product along the chain of bio-commerce, in close association with the environment and stakeholders.

 

This workshop l also discussed the issues related to geographic indication (GI) of endemic fish species and processes and procedures involved. Shri. Kuruvilla Thomas presided over the function. Falicilations were offered by sri. B. Vishnu Bhat, Dr. Alex Ploeg, Secretary General of Ornamental Fish International (OFI), the Netherlands, Dr. E. G. Silas, Prof. Madhusoodhana Kurup and Dr. I S Bright Singh.

 

In the inaugural session chairman MPEDA, G. Mohan Kumar, highlighted the pioneering effort taken on the issue of Green Certification and Geographic Indication of ornamental fishes.

 

The efforts made by MPEDA in bringing the Indian ornamental fish sector to International Standards by implementing the scheme of Rainbow
Revolution was highlighted by Director (Marketing) Kuruvilla Thomas.

 

Dr. E G Silas highlighted the importance of marking the fish exported by biomarkers and microchips.

 

 Prof. Kurup expressed concerns over the depletion of indigenous ornamental fish resources and urged for preparing proper guidelines.

 

Dr. Alex Ploeg, Secretary General of Ornamental Fish International (OFI) appreciated the steps taken by MPEDA in organizing this workshop and extended OFI’s support to this attempt.

 

Sri. Anil Kumar, Assistant Director welcomed the gathering and introduced to the process lead to this workshop and Prof. Labbish Chao, Project PIABA described the successful implementation of ‘Buy a fish save a Tree’ programme implemented in Amazon, Brazil.

 

Chairman Sri. Mohan Kumar released the book published by MPEDA on Ornamental Fish Diseases authored by Prof. Bright Singh, CUSAT. A series of books related to ornamental fish sector are under preparation.

 

Mr. Heiko Bleher, Italy; Scott Dowd of New England Aquarium; Joseph Itzkovich, Israel; Prof. Wu, Mr. Lee, Mr. Guggi, representatives of NGO’s like WWF, hobbyists writers and representatives participated in the workshop. Apart from the expert faculties from research institiutions, fisheries colleges, universities, state departments etc.

 

The workshop was attended by stakeholders from producer level to wholesalers, exporters, importers and the hobbyists, in addition experts from overseas who are also contributing to the evolution of guidelines on the collection of ornamental fish from wild and production from captive breeding. Technical sessions on the key aspects of green certification, geographic indication, good management practices, Marketing and socio-economic and environment aspects were presented and discussed for formulating proper guidelines.  A field trip to fish collection sites, ornamental fish breeding units and export unit are also fixed on the third day to introduce the delegates to the actual process involved in collection, conditioning, breeding and export of ornamental fishes from India.

 

The expected outcome:

         A certification programme can be developed for indigenous fish and cultured exotic ornamental fish species

 

         Possibility of obtaining of Geographical Indication for indigenous ornamental fishes

 

         Development of a training programme to equip the collectors for responsible utilization of the fishery resource and also reduce the loss of fish due to poor fishing methods, storage, handling and packing techniques (fish welfare). This will not only ensure eco friendliness and fish welfare but will improve the quality of fish and ensure a socially responsible business.

 

         Eco-labeling/ Green Certification of the exported fish in international market.

 

         All these actions will link up the fishers to the international market and promote Brand building of Indian Ornamental fish.

 

Our thanks to Dr. Binu Varghese, State Coordinator (Kerala), The MPEDA, Panampilly Nagar, PB No 4272, Kochi-682 036, Kerala, INDIA for this report. Please contact Dr. Varghese for more information.

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