(Last Updated on : 24/03/2014)
Fishery in India is one of the most significant sectors of food
industry which serves as an essential contributor to the national food basket, particularly the agricultural economy. Above four million people are involved in the occupation associated with fishery industry
. Since the nation is well-equipped with diverse species of aquatic life and marine organisms comprising several species of shellfish and other fishes, there has been a marked enhancement in fish production ever since Indian independence from the British Raj
. The fishery industry is known to contribute about 1.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product or GDP and 4.7 percent of the agricultural GDP. India boasts of 39 Brackishwater Fish Farms Development Agencies or BFDAs and 429 Fish Development Agencies or FFDAs, aimed to promote coastal and also freshwater marine culture.
Shrimps are produced at the rate of 8 billion and carp seeds are produced about 20 billions. Of late, production of ornamental fishes and food fishes has increased considerably in India. About 40 minor fishing harbours and 151 fish landing centres are present, which is a crucial source of livelihood for millions. Over 50 types of fishes and products made of shellfish are exported to more than 75 nations across the globe. A country, which has restrained scope to additionally use up its land harvests, must look towards the sea. India is gifted with an enormous prospective to obtain its food from the exclusive economic zone of closely two million sq. km. India has rich marine fisheries to develop and exploit, with a massive ocean floor, dynamic sea currents and large rivers
dumping fish food into the sea.
Marine fish haul was half a million tonnes in 1950-51. By 1997-98 it arose to 3 million tonnes. The inland fish haul was 2.4 million tonnes. However, automated fishing has harmfully struck upon traditional fishermen. To amplify its marine fish haul, it needs huge motorized fishing craft and vessels. It must also rev up its landing and wharfing facilities in big and small fishing harbours. Cold storage and processing facilities of marine products is an additional prerequisite. Substantial advancement has been made in this regard. The fishing vessels of the fishermen are under construction - both in Indian and foreign shipyards.
Similarly, inland fishing will be further developed, for which there is sufficient scope in rivers and numerous immense water
reservoirs built over the past 40 years. The country has infinite scope to step-up employment opportunities in this bright arena. In 1997-98, exports of fish and fish products had brought home 1160 million U.S. dollars.