Tamil Nadu is endowed with a long coast line (1076 kms) and innumerable number of tanks, village ponds and several rivers. All these water resources have been providing much needed fish to people of the state. More than one million fishermen are engaged in catching and supplying much needed fish to the populations. Besides a large number of farmers are engaged in aquaculture which is the major growing sectors of state. The demand for fish has been on the raise but the supply from capture fisheries has been stagnated and efforts have been made to increase the fish production from the current level of 4.47 lakhs tonnes. The Government of Tamil Nadu have recognised the growing importance of fish in diets of people and necessity of improving the livelihoods of large numbers of fishers who are dependent on fishing.
In order to accomplish these necessities, the Government under the leadership of Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Selvi. J. Jayalalithaa, have established a separate Fisheries University through Tamil Nadu Fisheries Act No. 21 of 2012. The act provides an opportunity to build the University as a locally relevant institution with a global vision. The University will embark on enhancing the availability of quality human resource at various levels including para professionals to meet the growing demand for trained and skilled human resource. As an immediate step, the Government have provided necessary grants for the establishment of University in Nagapattinam as well two Institutes of Fisheries Technology, one at Ponneri in Thiruvallur district and another at Nagapattinam, Nagapattinam district. The University main offices with the Institute of Fisheries Technology would come up in an area of 90 acres in Nagapattinam. While the Fisheries College and Research Institute in Thoothukudi will continue to focus on human resource at graduate and postgraduate level, new institutes will embark on offering diploma and certificate courses in various disciplines of fisheries.
The University will lay major emphasis on research with a view to trigger innovations that can transform the livelihoods of the people and ensure safe and healthy food for the growing population. The University has the moto of igniting innovations at all levels and in all its interventions. The existing fisheries research stations of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) as well as the Department of Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu will be brought under the new university with the view to strengthen the research components.
In order to provide quality extension support to farmers, extension component of the university is proposed to be strengthened by following the principle of land grand college principles on which Indian agricultural education have evolved. As part of this, experimentation will be undertaken to examine the feasibility of bringing the extension support to farmers under the university, while the State Fisheries Department would strengthen its focus on policy and welfare measures.
The proposed site for the University and the Institute is shown in red
Proposed Admin Plan for Institute of Fisheries Technology, Ponneri.