Australian Consulate-General
Chennai, India

Media release

7 March 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               PA-CN/16/07    


Launch of the Blue Economy Aquaculture Challenge


Australia’s High Commissioner designate to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, today launched the Australian Government’s $3 million Blue Economy Aquaculture Challenge. The Challenge seeks innovative solutions from around the world to generate sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region. 

“Aquaculture has great potential to contribute to food security, nutrition, livelihoods and economic growth,” Ms Sidhu said. “The Challenge aims to develop aquaculture technologies and systems to grow economies, improve the lives of the poor and achieve positive environmental and social impacts.”

The Challenge will prioritise innovations in the Indian Ocean region that address one of three key challenges: rethinking feed for aquaculture, new ocean products and sustainable design.

“Innovators from across academia, industry, NGOs, and the general public are invited to compete for funding,” Ms Sidhu explained.  “The Challenge is open to anyone from anywhere in the world to participate, but the projects must be specific to the Indian Ocean.”

The Challenge aims to crowd-source funding from around the world for the most innovative solutions.

“We invite other funders, including multilateral and bilateral donors, private foundations and financiers to partner with Australia to expand the Challenge fund,” Ms Sidhu said, “This might provide an attractive option for Indian companies’ CSR programs.”

Ms Sidhu said the Challenge provided an opportunity to highlight best practice examples of sustainable management in the fisheries and aquaculture sector in India.

“India is already undertaking a number of activities demonstrating cutting-edge technology in the field of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture,” she said. “I encourage all interested partners to get involved in the Challenge to help inspire faster, better and cheaper solutions for international development. It would be great to have a winner from here in the south of India!”

Further information regarding the Blue Economy Aquaculture Challenge can be found at:


7 March 2016                                                                                                                                        PACN/16/08                                                                                                               

Australia’s Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Initiative


“Australia is keen to partner with India across the full spectrum of fisheries and aquaculture activities to share our experience and best practices to help India’s seafood industry achieve its enormous potential,” the Australian Consul-General for South India, Mr Sean Kelly, said today at an event to introduce Australia’s Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Initiative for India.

Mr Kelly was joined at this event by Australia’s High Commissioner-designate to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, who is visiting to Chennai to formally launch the centrepiece of the Initiative, Australia’s $3 million Blue Economy Aquaculture Challenge (see Media Release PA-CN/16/07).

“Under the Australian Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Initiative we aim to collaborate with the Indian Union and State Governments to facilitate sharing of Australian expertise on a commercial basis,” Mr Kelly said.  “The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is in the process of finalising a Collaboration Arrangement with the Kerala-based Marine Products Export Development Authority, and a Collaboration Arrangement on Sustainable Fisheries Management between Austrade and Tamil Nadu’s Fisheries Department is ready to sign.”

Following the participation of south Indian fisheries leaders in Seafood Directions, Australia’s premier seafood industry conference, in Perth last October, Austrade will lead an Australian delegation to 20th India International Seafood Show in Vizag later this year.  Mr Kelly also announced a grant of 16.2 Lakh Rupees under the auspices of its Direct Aid Program, has provided to the NGO Participatory Learning Action Network and Training (or PLANT) to support a project to revitalise fishing grounds along North Chennai using a unique Australian technology.

“In developing cooperation with India in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management, we are conscious that this sector is not just an important potential area for modernisation and development, and a mutually-beneficial business opportunity,” Mr Kelly emphasised; “It is also an industry on which some of India’s poorest citizens rely for their livelihood.“

“The project also demonstrates a technology through which reefs can be rapidly developed and sea life along the coastline can be aggregated, resulting in a substantial increase in catch for fishing communities,” he explained, “providing a potential pathway for future development.”

Further information on the Australian Consulate-General’s Direct Aid Program can be found at: