1. Animal Husbandry

Fisheries: GADVASU to Organize Awareness Drive to Promote Fish Consumption

M Kanika
M Kanika

College of Fisheries (CoF), Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana is going to conduct a “Fish Consumption Awareness Drive” during the month of December 2021 in order to enhance consumer/public awareness for fish consumption.

Various activities, including publicity (handouts/articles/posters/media coverage), fish food festival, sale of fish products, competitions (promotional tagline/poster making), etc. will be organized, with the active participation of the graduating students to instill entrepreneurial marketing skills among them.

India is the second-largest aquaculture producer in the world. However, the fish-eating population in India is estimated to be only 55%, with average annual per capita fish consumption (PCFC) of about 9kg, which is less than half of the world average (20kg). Among Indian states, Tripura is tops in terms of PCFC (29kg), while it is more than 50 kg in islands like Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

Highlights of Nutritive Value Fish & Its Products

Dr. Meera D. Ansal, Dean CoF, GADVASU informed that PCFC is very less in the north-western region of the country. It is only 0.4 kg in Punjab and lowest in Rajasthan (0.01 kg), against the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended PCFC of 12 kg.

Highlighting the nutritive value of fish/fisheries products in respect to its protein content/quality, easy digestibility, omega-3 Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), minerals (Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, iodine, Potassium, and Magnesium), and vitamins (A, D, B2, and E), she advocated that fish/fisheries products (raw and processed) shall be included in the human diet for amazing health benefits.

Fish is well known for its functional properties boosting immunity, vision, and heart health, with a significant role in brain development in growing children. Unlike coastal states, the non-vegetarian population of Punjab (<40%) prefers to eat chicken, chevon/mutton, pork, etc., and nevertheless, most of its small fish-eating population prefers to eat spineless fish.

Keeping in view the increasing demand for convenient ready to cook and ready to eat products among middle and upper-middle-class consumers, a range of value-added fish products developed by CoF, GADVASU will be promoted through listed activities, so as to resolve the consumer inhibitions related to buying/cleaning of raw fish and/or presence of spines.

Applauding the initiative Dr. Inderjeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU informed that Punjab with total fish production of 1.5 lakh tonnes, has resources to easily double its production and offer annual per capita fish availability of 10 kg to the exiting estimated population of about 3 crores. The fisheries sector presents enormous socio-economic growth in terms of food, nutritional security, livelihood, employment opportunities, and revenue generation, he added.

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