HYDERABAD: Fish Welfare Initiative (FWI), an organization supporting the production of higher welfare fish for the first time in India, on Friday hosted the Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture: Fish Welfare Roundtable at Shankarpalle . Participants in the closed event included fisheries scientist Dr. Veeranjaneyulu, some aquaculturists, Gantasala Venkata Anjaneyulu; N.Venkataiah; and Vundavalli Chandhu of the Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture, Chefs Megha Kohli (Chef, Cafe Mez & The Wine Company) and Seemanta Baruah (Director – Culinary Operations, The Bier Library), Representatives from Farmer Organizations, Bhupesh Reddy (Founder and CEO, of Gunapati); Srinivas Chekuri (Chairman, Gramodaya Trust); and Tarun Katoch (Co-Founder; Head of Value Chain, Dvara E-Registry), and representatives from meat retail and export giants, Sunil Tandon (Vice President, Fipola Retail Pvt. Ltd. ); Venkata Kalagarla (Procurement Manager, Captain Fresh); and Swadesh Sarangi (Retail Manager, Falcon Marine Group).
The roundtable stands as a precursor to corporate sourcing transitions towards higher welfare fish products, which are set to enter the Indian market for the first time this year. These products will come from producer members of the Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture (ARA), an FWI-led coalition of farmers, businesses and NGOs supporting best aquaculture practices. SAGE, an ARA Corporate Member, The Chefs’ Manifesto, Gramodaya Trust and Bhavi Aqua and Fish FPO, came forward as event partners supporting the roundtable.
Fish welfare promotes agricultural practices that maintain high water quality, optimize feed management, stock fish in reasonable numbers to avoid overcrowding, and prepare breeding ponds to minimize disease and infestation parasitic. This is how top welfare macaw fish are bred. The Fish Welfare Initiative India Foundation (FWI India) is currently working with 72 fish farms in Andhra Pradesh and developing the second version of its welfare standard for farming Catla, Rohu and Mrigal.
The roundtable included sessions detailing the process of setting the Fish Welfare Initiative’s welfare standards in the ARA, the link between wellness and nutrition, and roundtables on the road to sustainability. through animal welfare. FWI India Managing Director Karthik Pulugurtha said, “This year will be the first time that fish farmed with best aquaculture practices will hit the Indian market. We are delighted to work with a coalition of farmers, businesses and organizations that emphasize the importance of fish welfare to business resilience and the future profitability of the aquaculture sector. This round table is the first step towards building a market for fish products from fairer, more natural and more respectful agricultural practices.
Read also : Impact of the pandemic: 5 pragmatic approaches for effective learning
Commenting on product quality, Dr. Marco Cerqueira, Marine Science Center Scientist and Fish Welfare Specialist from Prince Edward Island, said: “Fish that are not unstressed grow faster and healthier than stressed fish raised in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Traditional practices also use more chemicals and drugs to prevent disease, resulting in a product that may contribute to antibiotic resistance among consumers.
The event took place at SAGE’s baby elephant farm in Shankarpalle and included a guided tour of SAGE’s macaw pangasius farm for all participants. FWI expects trial supply to begin later this year, with enterprise supply transitions to follow shortly thereafter.