India, the second largest fish producing country

The nation has emerged as the second-largest producer of fish, accounting for around 6.3 per cent of the total global output, as per a report by the Department of Fisheries, Government of India

June 18, 2019

The nation’s fisheries sector is reportedly growing at the rate of 7 per cent, supporting the livelihood of around 14.5 million fishermen

Total fish production during 2017-18 was estimated at around 12.6 million tonnes, of which nearly 65 per cent came from inland sector

Fisheries and aquaculture is a critical component of the Indian food production, processing industry, heavily contributing to agri exports

The Government is setting up a Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) with a corpus of over US$1 billion

India has emerged as the second-largest producer of fish, accounting for around 6.3 per cent of the total global output, according to a report by the Press Trust of India, citing a publication by the Department of Fisheries, Central Government, on June 18. The nation’s fisheries sector is reportedly growing at the rate of 7 per cent, supporting the livelihood of around 14.5 million fishermen. Total fish production during 2017-18 was estimated at around 12.6 million tonnes, of which nearly 65 per cent came from the inland sector. Meanwhile, about 50 per cent of the nation’s total production came from cultured fisheries.

Fisheries and aquaculture is a critical component of the Indian food production and processing industry, heavily contributing to agricultural exports. With diverse resources spanning deep seas to mountainous lakes, and more than 10 per cent of the global biodiversity in terms of fish and shellfish species, India has shown continuous and sustained increments in fish production. The Government has also incorporated regulations and methodologies to ascertain sustainable fishing. Currently, steps are being taken to tap the huge potential in harnessing tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

At the 23rd session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), organised in Hyderabad on June 17-21, Rajni Sekhri Sibal, secretary, Department of Fisheries, said that 30 per cent of the Indian EEZ was spread across the Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands, but only 1 per cent was currently used for tuna production. This offers opportunities. The fisheries and aquaculture production contributes around 1 per cent to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 5 per cent to the agricultural GDP. To strengthen opportunities, the Government if implementing various schemes under the “Blue Revolution” scheme.

The Government is setting up a dedicated Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) with a corpus of over US$1 billion to boost infrastructure, technology and skill development in the fisheries sector. Additionally, Blue Revolution has been allocated a budget of over US$435 million to improve capacity in the sector over 2015-16 to 2019-20. This is estimated to raise India’s fish production from 10.8 million tonnes to about 15 million tonnes, aiding both domestic consumption and export.