Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Director-General, ICAR inaugurated World Brackishwater Aquaculture Conference (Braqcon-2019) on 23rd January, 2019 in the presence of Dr.J.K.Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) and Animal Sciences, Dr.S.K.Saxena, Director, Export Inspection Council, GOI, Dr.K.K.Vijayan, Director, CIBA and Convener of Braqcon-2019. In his address he highlighted that Seafoods exports contributed about 5 billion USD for the national income. In order to develop this sector on a sustainable basis, concerted efforts by research and development organizations need to be strategically planned and implemented in coordination with the private sectors, farmers and other related stakeholders. In the research angle, in addition to species diversification, nutrition and input supply, long term breeding programmes need to be evolved for improving the productivity of brackishwater aquaculture species need to be thought of. He emphasized that gene editing would be key for breeding of shrimps and fishes with specific characteristics like disease pathogen exclusion, faster growth and meat quality.
Dr.J.K.Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries), ICAR emphasized the importance of fisheries and aquaculture in India and the technology support rendered by the ICAR institutions in the total fish production of 11 million tonnes in India, employment generation, societal development and doubling the farmers income and all together towards achieving the blue economy of the country. About 700 fishery scientists including 30 international fisheries experts presented their research achievements in the conference. Aquaculture production systems, reproduction and larviculture, Fish and shell fish nutrition, aquaculture start up, aquaculture CEO round table and socio-economics and livelihood issues are the themes on which the conference is organised promoting the slogan of Brackishwater Aquaculture for Food, Income and Prosperity.