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Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2023

Context:

The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, recently passed by Parliament. These amendments seek to address ambiguities, streamline administrative processes, and integrate emerging aquaculture practices.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005
  2. Major Provisions of Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023
  3. Status of Coastal Aquaculture in India

Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005

Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005: The Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005 is legislation aimed at regulating coastal aquaculture activities along coastlines and estuaries. Its key provisions include:

  • Special Organization: Creation of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority to manage and control seafood cultivation activities near the coast.
  • Environmental Protection: Ensuring that coastal aquaculture practices do not harm the environment.
  • Scope: Regulating the cultivation and rearing of aquatic organisms such as fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants in marine or brackish water environments.

Major Provisions of Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023:

The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023 introduces significant changes to the existing Act. Key provisions include:

Expanding Scope:
  • Definition Broadening: Bringing all coastal aquaculture activities under the Act, including methods beyond shrimp farming like cage culture, seaweed culture, and ornamental fish culture.
  • Emerging Practices: Recognition of environmentally friendly aquaculture practices to boost revenue and employment opportunities for coastal communities.
Facilitating Aquaculture Units:
  • Within No Development Zone (NDZ): Allowing hatcheries, Broodstock multiplication centers, and Nucleus Breeding Centres to operate within 200 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL).
Simplifying Regulatory Processes:
  • Registration Modification: Replacing imprisonment with civil penalties for unregistered coastal aquaculture activities.
  • Operational Flexibility: Allowing modifications of certificates of registration for changes in ownership or activity size.
  • Delay Condoning: Empowering the Coastal Aquaculture Authority to condone renewal application delays with a compounded fee.
Environmental Protection and Compliance:
  • Emission and Effluents Standards: Authority empowered to establish emission or effluent discharge standards for aquaculture units.
  • Polluter Pays Principle: Holding aquaculture unit owners responsible for environment-related damage costs.
  • Ecologically Sensitive Areas: Prohibiting aquaculture activities in vulnerable ecosystems.
Advancing Disease Prevention and Sustainability:
  • Antibiotic-Free Aquaculture: Prohibiting the use of antibiotics and pharmacologically active substances to prioritize aquatic ecosystem health.

Status of Coastal Aquaculture in India

India boasts a vast coastline of approximately 7,517 km, providing a promising platform for the development of coastal aquaculture. Here’s an overview of the current status of coastal aquaculture in the country:

  • Diverse Species Cultivation: Coastal aquaculture in India encompasses a range of aquatic organisms, including shrimp, fish, crab, oyster, mussel, seaweed, and pearl.
  • Shrimp Dominance: Shrimp production has been a dominant force in Indian coastal aquaculture. Over the past nine years, shrimp production has witnessed an astounding surge of 267%.
  • Seafood Exports Soar: The growth in shrimp production has had a significant impact on seafood exports from India. The country’s seafood exports have experienced a remarkable doubling effect, skyrocketing from Rs 30,213 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 63,969 crore in 2022-23.
  • Shrimp’s Contribution: It’s important to note that a substantial portion of the increased seafood exports can be attributed to shrimp cultivation.
  • Key States Driving Growth: Several coastal states have played pivotal roles in driving the expansion of coastal aquaculture, particularly shrimp production and subsequent exports:
    • Andhra Pradesh
    • Gujarat
    • Odisha
    • Tamil Nadu
  • Export Contribution: These states have contributed significantly to the surge in shrimp production and exports, bolstering India’s position in the global seafood market.

-Source: Indian Express


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