New Delhi :Oceans are the world’s single largest ecosystem, covering nearly three-fourths of the earth’s surface, thereby providing a massive arena for emerging complex and interconnected development issues such livelihoods, as climate change, commerce, and security. The Indian Ocean is vital to the economies, security and livelihoods of its coastal states. The Country has a coastline of 8118km, covering 9 maritime States/4UTs and providing livelihood support to millions of coastal fisher folk. As a mark of gratitude to our seas it is proposed to organize “Sagar Parikrama” program on occasion of 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava saluting our great freedom fighters, sailors and fishers. The first leg of ‘Sagar Parikrama’ shall begin from Gujarat on 5th Feb 2022 for 2 days. Sagar Parikrama program is proposed to be celebrated in all coastal states/UT s through a pre-decided sea route down right from Gujarat, Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands to have interaction programme with fishermen, fisher communities and stakeholders in these locations and districts as a part of 75th “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava” in order to know the problems of Coastal Fisher folk. It’s one of the significant initiatives of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. An evolutionary journey is envisaged in the sea across the coastal belt demonstrating solidarity with all fisher folk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholder’s as a spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
The journey of “Sagar Parikrama” will start with Gujarat State. The Bardoli Satyagraha, in the state of Gujarat, India during the British Raj, was a major episode of civil disobedience and revolt in the Indian Independence Movement on 12 June 1928. The movement was eventually led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and its success gave rise to Patel becoming one of the main leaders of the independence movement, especially resolving farmers issues. Gujarat has a coastal length of 1214 km, covering 16 coastal districts having huge diversity of marine based ecosystems and development opportunities. Fisher folk, vendors and industries have a direct stake in the development of fisheries sector in economic value, especially exports.
The voyage Sagar Parikrama as Phase –I programme shall start on 5th February 2022 from Mandvi and end at Porbandar on 6th February 2022. The entire distance will be covered from the coastline of Mandvi on the coast of the Arabian Sea in the Kutch district of Gujarat, situated at the estuary where the river Rukmavati meets the Gulf of Kutch.
The Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India and National Fisheries Development Board along with Department of Fisheries, Government of Gujarat, Indian Coast Guard, Fishery Survey of India, Gujarat Maritime Board and fishermen representatives shall celebrate the ‘Sagar Parikrama- starting from Mandvi at Shyamiji Krishna Varma Memorial, Gujarat, on 5th Feb 2022. Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Parshottam Rupala; Shri Raghavjibhai Patel, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Cow-breeding, Government of Gujarat; Shri Jitubhai Chaudhari, State Minister of Kalpsar and Fisheries; Shri Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary (Fisheries), Government of India; Shri Nalin Upadhyay, Secretary (Fisheries), Govt of Gujarat and senior officials of Department of Fisheries, Govt of India, National Fisheries Development Board, Govt of Gujarat, Fishery Survey of India, Gujarat Maritime Board, and Indian Coast Guard shall grace the occasion. The journey shall be accompanied by the State Fisheries officials, Fishermen representatives, Fish-Farmers entrepreneurs, stakeholders, professionals, officials and Scientists from across the nation.
During the event, certificates /sanctions related to Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampadha scheme, KCC & State Scheme shall be awarded to the progressive fishermen, especially costal fishermen, fishers and fish farmers, young fishery entrepreneurs etc. Literature on PMMSY scheme, State schemes, FIDF, KCC etc. shall be popularized through print media, electronic media, videos, digital campaign through jingles to popularize among fishers for wide publicity of schemes. A song on Sagar Parikrama shall also be launched in the contest of 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava. The programme shall be celebrated similarly in other districts of Gujarat and other State/UTs in subsequent phases.
Government of India is in the forefront in transforming the fisheries sector and to formulate fisheries management plans along with regulatory framework towards effective fisheries governance to ensure sustainable and responsible development through an ecosystem approach. The journey of Sagar Parikrama shall focus on sustainable balance between the utilization of marine fisheries resources for food security of nation and livelihoods of coastal fisher communities and protection of marine ecosystems.