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Union Fisheries Ministers to lay foundation for Integrated Seaweed Park at Thondi, Ramanathapuram District

Posted On: 31 AUG 2023 6:46PM by PIB Chennai

Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala and Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying and Information & Broadcasting Dr L Murugan will lay the foundation for Integrated Seaweed Park at Thondi in Ramanathapuram District of Tamilnadu on 02 September 2023.

136 Coastal Villages have been identified in 6 Coastal districts namely Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi of Tamil Nadu for Seaweed cultivation. The benefits of Establishment of Multi-Purpose Seaweed Park include creation of alternative employment opportunity for coastal fisherwomen, creation of infrastructure facility for value addition of seaweed products, creation of common infrastructure facility at Ramanathapuram district for seaweed related Industry.

Seaweeds are marine plants that have numerous benefits as a rich source of nutrients, providing habitat for marine life, and acting as a carbon sequester. In line with the Union Budget 2021 announcement, the Multipurpose Seaweed Park has been approved with the total investment of Rs 127.7 crore in Tamil Nadu. Based on the hub-and-spoke model, Seaweed Park aims to promote the cultivation and conservation of seaweed and it is envisioned as a research and development centre for seaweed cultivation for scientists and researchers to study different species of seaweed and their potential applications while also serving as a training centre for local communities to create awareness.

Objectives of Seaweed Park includes creation of employment opportunity to the coastal fisher youth and fisherwomen, development of value-added seaweed products by encouraging private sector/Entrepreneurs and supporting them to set up seaweed processing units in the proposed seaweed park, development of seaweed seed bank through Research Institutes, Universities, Private entrepreneurs and Fisheries Department, exploration of untapped seaweed potential in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu through scientific and traditional seaweed farming and development of R & D centres for production of quality seaweed. The main components of the seaweed park include identification of potential seaweed resources in coastal fishing villages, establishing tissue culture labs and R&D facilities, shore-based infrastructure facilities (drying yard, ware house etc), skill development and capacity building, storage and marketing facility, processing and value addition facility and monitoring and surveillance.

Establishment of integrated seaweed park in the State is envisaged to provide the necessary infrastructure to drive R&D initiatives for production of quality seed material, development of new product lines from seaweeds. The seaweed park will also provide single window support for the entrepreneurs, processors etc. to access information on schemes, licenses/approvals required, while also providing space to set up processing centres.

In addition to promoting seaweed cultivation, the park will also focus on the conservation of marine ecosystems and will house an aquarium highlighting various marine species that rely on seaweed for survival.  It is expected to attract tourists, researchers, and entrepreneurs interested in the potential of seaweed as a sustainable resource while serve as platform to create employment opportunities for local communities and contribute to the economic growth of Tamil Nadu.

Located strategically in Tamil Nadu, a state known for its rich coastal heritage and vibrant communities, the Multipurpose Seaweed Park will serve as nucleus of research, innovation, and education. It will also be a breeding ground for innovative research, fostering collaboration among scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs, all with the shared goal of harnessing the gifts of the ocean in a sustainable manner.

 

NT/AD/KPG

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