Australia sets Indian Ocean challenge

THE Australian government has launched an aquaculture challenge for the Indian Ocean region that seeks innovations in areas such as feed, Hindu Business Line reported yesterday.
The challenge is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with funding of AU$3 million, and is open to academia, industry, the general public and non-governmental organisations.
Any individual project can get a funding up to AU$750,000, and the deadline for the submission of ideas is June 30.
Launching the challenge in India, Australia’s High Commissioner designate to India, Harinder Sidhu, said the focus of the challenge is to develop aquaculture technology and systems that are sustainable, as the industry has potential to contribute to food security, nutrition, livelihood and economic growth.
Sean Kelly, Australian Consulate General for South India, said Australia is looking at collaborating with Indian counterparts to facilitate sharing of expertise on commercial basis.
As a first step, a grant of ₹16.2 lakh (about US$250,000) under Direct Aid programme was given to a non-governmental organisation, Participatory Learning Action Network and Training (PLANT), project to revitalise fishing grounds along North Chennai using Australian technology.
Grayson Perry, Trade Commissioner, said the trade commission will be finalising a collaboration agreement with Marine Products Export Development Authority for research, training and bringing expertise to improve fishing capabilities.
‘We will be signing a MoU with the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department for research collaboration, open sea fishing and value addition for products,’ Perry said.