Parliament passed the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Parliament passed the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Recently the Coastal Aquaculture Authorities (Amendment) Bill, 2023 has been passed by both the Houses of the Parliament.

Through this bill, amendments have been made in the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005.

Provisions in the Amendment Bill:

  • The Government of India wishes to emphasize that coastal aquaculture and allied activities are permitted activities within the CRZ under the CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zones) Notifications.
  • The Amendment Bill provides that registration granted under the Coastal Aquaculture Authorities Act will be valid and will be treated as valid permission under CRZ notification, thereby eliminating the need for millions of small marginal aquaculture farmers to obtain CRZ clearance from multiple agencies.
  • Specific exemption has been granted under the CAA Act, through this amendment for the establishment of aquaculture units like hatcheries, Brood stock multiplication centres (BMC) and Nucleus Breeding Centres (NBC) within the No Development Zone (NDZ) [200m from the HTL] of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).
  • The original Act provided for imprisonment of up to 3 years for undertaking coastal aquaculture without registration.
  • The Amendment Bill provides that in accordance with the principle of de-criminalisation of civil offences, appropriate citizen friendly mechanisms such as fines shall be adopted for this offence.
  • The Amendment Bill provides for a broad-based term “coastal aquaculture” to comprehensively cover all activities of coastal aquaculture within the purview of this Act and removes the ambiguity existing in the Principal Act between the form and other areas of coastal aquaculture.
  • In 2005, the coastal aquaculture activity was primarily shrimp farming. Now new forms of eco-friendly coastal aquaculture like cage culture, sea weed culture, by-wall culture, marine ornamental fish culture, pearl oyster culture etc. have come up which can be done in coastal areas and mostly within CRZ.
  • Several administrative matters which were unclear, such as the powers of the Member Secretary of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) and normal functioning of the Authority in the absence of the Chairperson, have been suitably addressed under the amended Act for administrative efficiency and accountability.
  • The amendment expressly empowers the Authority to appoint committees which may include experts, stakeholders and public representatives for efficient discharge of duties and execution of functions under the Act.
  • The amendment bill provides for setting or adopting standards for emission or discharge of effluents from coastal aquaculture units.

Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA)

  • Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) works under the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • The head office of the Coastal Aquaculture Authority is located at Chennai (Tamil Nadu).

Source – PIB

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