Ludhiana 29 November 2021-College of Fisheries (CoF), Guru AngadDev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana is going to conduct “Fish Consumption Awareness Drive” during the month of December, 2021 in order to enhance consumer/public awareness for fish consumption. Various activities, including publicity (handouts/articles/posters/media coverage), fish food festival, sale of fish products, competitions (promotional tagline/poster making) etc. will be organized, with active participation of the graduating students to instill entrepreneurial marketing skills among them.

India is the second largest aquaculture producer in the world. However, fish-eating population in India is estimated to be only 55%, with an average annual per capita fish consumption (PCFC) of about 9kg, which is less than half of the world average (20kg). Among Indian states, Tripura tops in terms of PCFC (29kg), while it ismore than 50 kg inislandslike Andaman &Nicobar and Lakshadweep. Dr. Meera D. Ansal, Dean CoF, GADVASU informed that PCFC is very less in the north-western region of the country. It is only 0.4 kg in Punjab and lowest in Rajasthan (0.01 kg), against the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended PCFC of 12 kg.

Highlighting nutritive value of fish/fisheries products in respect toits protein content/quality, easy digestibility, omega-3 Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), minerals (Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, iodine, Potassium and Magnesium) and vitamins (A, D, B2 and E), she advocated that fish/fisheries products (raw and processed) shall be included in the human diet for amazing health benefits. Fish is well known for its functional properties boosting immunity, visionand heart health, with significant role in brain development in growing children. Unlike coastal states, non-vegetarian population of Punjab (<40%) prefer to eat chicken, chevon/mutton, pork etc. and nevertheless, most ofits small fish-eatingpopulation prefers to eat spineless fish.

Keeping in view increasing demand of convenient ready to cook and ready to eat products among middle and upper middle-class consumer, a range of value-added fish products developed by CoF, GADVASUwill be promoted through listed activities, so as to resolve the consumer inhibitions related to buying/cleaning of raw fish and/orpresence of spines.

Applauding theinitiative Dr. Inderjeet Singh, Vice Chancellor, GADVASU informed that Punjab with total fish production of 1.5 lakh tones,has resources to easily double its production and offer annual per capita fish availability of 10kg to the exiting estimated population of about 3 crores. The fisheries sector presents enormous socio-economic growth in terms of food, nutritional security, livelihood, employmentopportunitiesand revenue generation, he added.