Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023:
The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, recently passed by Parliament.
- These amendments seek to address ambiguities, streamline administrative processes, and integrate emerging aquaculture practices.
Major Provisions Related to Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment ) Bill, 2023:
- The amendments aims to bring all coastal aquaculture activities under the purview of the Act, removing ambiguities between different aspects of coastal aquaculture.
- The amendments acknowledge the evolution of environmentally friendly aquaculture practices beyond shrimp farming, incorporating methods like cage culture, seaweed culture, marine ornamental fish culture, and more.
- These practices align with the evolving landscape and offer substantial revenue and employment opportunities for coastal communities.
- Establishments like hatcheries, Broodstock multiplication centers (BMC), and Nucleus Breeding Centres (NBC) are now permitted to operate within 200 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL).
- The amendment aims to address previous uncertainties arising from the interpretation of Section 13(8) of the original CAA Act of 2005, which had excluded coastal aquaculture from CRZ regulations.
- The amendments replace the stringent provision of imprisonment with civil penalties for unregistered coastal aquaculture activities.
- This shift towards civil instruments aligns with modern regulatory practices.
- The amendments introduce provisions for modifying certificates of registration in case of changes in ownership or activity size.
- The amendments empower the Coastal Aquaculture Authority to establish standards for emission or discharge of effluents from aquaculture units, holding owners accountable for adhering to these standards.
- The amendments uphold the ‘Polluter Pays Principle,’ mandating aquaculture unit owners to bear the cost of any environment-related damage or demolition assessed by the Authority.
- The amendments prohibit coastal aquaculture activities in ecologically sensitive areas or areas with significant geo-morphological features, enhancing protection for vulnerable ecosystems.
- By explicitly prohibiting the use of antibiotics and pharmacologically active substances, the amendments prioritize the health of aquatic ecosystems and promote environmentally conscious practices.