The Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu will provide A$300 million over the next three years to develop infrastructure for deep sea fishing off the coast of Tamil Nadu, opening up opportunities for Australian organisations to supply sustainable marine technologies and services.
With the second longest coastline in India at 1,076 kilometres, Tamil Nadu is one of the leading states for seafood production.
Fishing currently takes place about 15 to 20 kilometres off Tamil Nadu’s coastline and in the Palk Straits separating India and Sri Lanka, despite the state’s access to 2.02 million square kilometres of marine resources in the exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles out to sea.
To build a sustainable deep sea fishing industry, the Government of Tamil Nadu has prioritised the development of coastal infrastructure, including modernising harbours and fish landing centres and building new facilities. It is also acquiring new tuna longliners, mechanising traditional fishing boats and tendering for a new mid-sea fishing vessel.
‘There are opportunities for Australian organisations to assist with boat building by providing design, refrigerated sea water systems, on-board and onshore fish processing systems, and communications devices,’ said Gregory Harvey, Trade Commissioner, Austrade.
‘Assistance is also needed to establish fin fish hatcheries and aquaculture grow-out systems, including RAS and high-quality feeds.’
In addition, there are opportunities to take part in World Bank projects, including undertaking resource assessment for fisheries and investigating ways to enhance revenue by selling by-catch such as octopus and oysters and harvesting pearl oysters.
‘Austrade is well positioned to assist Australian organisations that want to access opportunities in the fisheries sector in South Asia through its Sustainable Fisheries Initiative,’ said Harvey.
‘The initiative showcases Australia’s capabilities in wild-caught fish and aquaculture across major coastal states in India and Sri Lanka, with the aim of helping both countries achieve efficiencies of scale and improve the sustainability and economic viability of their fisheries and aquaculture industries.’
Australian expertise is sought in the following areas: barramundi fingerlings and hatchery setup processes; octopus by-catch techniques; pearl oyster harvesting; bio-algae–based aquaculture waste water treatment; high-performing shrimp feed; and deep sea fishing vessel design. Indian organisations are also looking for joint venture partners for boat building.
There is growing interest from other coastal Indian states looking to improve their processes and capabilities in fisheries and aquaculture, and the region is looking to Australia as a source for technology transfer and innovation.
Austrade has helped Australian organisations establish research and education partnerships with leading fisheries universities in India; organised for Australian aquaculture experts to visit South Asia to hold fisheries and aquaculture master classes; and assisted Australian companies to export fingerlings to the Sri Lankan market.