UAA Promoted Samudram Project is the Receipient of "UN Equator Initiative Award 2010" for Reducing Poverty Through the Conservation & Sustainable use of Biodiversity, Samudram also Conferred with "Godfrey Philips Bravery Award 2011" for Women's Empowerment
   Seaweed farming an excellent rehabilitation programme for coastal poor :

Seaweed farming is profitable if it is taken up as an agri-minded family business. In Philippines, more than 10,000 families are earning their daily bread through seaweed farming. A master plan in selected pockets of south Chilika coast can be taken up for seaweed cultivation. Opportunities for the participation of the local SHG group of women, local communities, should be available through cooperation of Govt., NGO’s and private sector. Langaleswar site should start with demonstrations to prove the techno-economic viability in seaweed cultivation. Since the project is found to be viable at Langaleswar site, it should aim at the rehabilitation of coastal rural poor in seaweed cultivation with proper training etc. The prospect of seaweed farming is a promising alternative for maintaining the socio-economic condition of the coastal women. The attempt of cultivation of Gracilaria verrucosa and some other important seaweed will help in their conservation in a sustainable way. In this aspect NABARD should come forward to finance such projects under women participation in rural welfa

Socio-economic status of the village people was studied and found that their major livelihood is fishing. We could sense the feeling of majority of fishers that they are in need of alternative livelihood since fishing is becoming uneconomic everyday. Seaweed cultivation and its benefits were explained to the fishers and they show interest in the project. The seaweed cultivation can enhance the income of the coastal communities once it is developed with a viable technology. The water temperature, water motion, depth, cultivation area availability, nature of the substratum and other environmental conditions required for the cultivations were investigated.

   Fishing Sector :

Fishing has traditionally been considered as a ‘technical’ subject and policymaking has largely been concerned with making the sector more ‘technologically’ oriented. The focus has been on the commodity produced – fish – and less on the people who depended on fish and fisheries, and issues concerning the social and economic aspects of the fisher people’s lives have always taken the backseat in the pursuit of increasing production (specifically earning foreign exchange) through whatever means available. Increasing technologisation has meant increasing capitalisation of the sector and consequent marginalisation of the people who traditionally depended on fisheries. Increased capitalisation has changed the contour of fishing from subsistence-based, local initiatives to export and profit-oriented, international activities, and from group-based egalitarian systems to individually owned and operated marketing ventures. On the face of it, there does not seem to be anything wrong with that, with Indian seafood showing up on some of the most elegant dining tables in the world, earning huge amounts of the much-needed foreign exchange to the country. Except that the new entities, instead of absorbing the old ones (as was hoped by the planners), or being absorbed by the latter (as is the case with many new, people-friendly technologies), became, rather like oil on water, a new sector in themselves, one which is in competition with the old ones, and obviously winning.

   Foreign exchange earnings from seafood :

In Orissa, there has been an increase in the export of fish and fishery products both to the outside state markets and abroad. In 2000-1, the total fish production of the state was valued at Rs. 10458 million and the earnings from exports to other countries amounted to Rs. 3,800 million or a little over 30 per cent (DOF, 2002:6 & 74). In comparison, the value of exports in 1992-93 was about Rs. 900 million or 24 per cent of the total production from the state (DOF, 1993:13 & 76), indicating that exports were becoming increasingly important to the state’s economy. However there are indications that the quantities of fish/shell fish exported from Orissa (to both export and ex-state markets) are stagnating or even declining (Department of Fisheries, 2002:6), as the following table indicates:

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