Fisheries Sector In India
Fisheries Sector In India
Examine the potential and scope of fisheries sector in India. Discuss the challenges of Fisheries sectors and measures to address the same.
Introduction: (up to 30 words) Mention potential and scope of fisheries sector in India.
Body: (up to 120 words) Challenges and suggest some measures.
Conclusion: (up to 30 words) Conclude by measures taken by the government.
- Constituting about 6.3% of the global fish production, the sector contributes to 1.1% of the GDP and 5.15% of the agricultural GDP.
- India is the world’s second-largest fish producer with exports worth more than Rs 47,000 crore.
- Fisheries are the country’s single-largest agriculture export, with a growth rate of 6 to 10 per cent in the past five years. Its significance is underscored by the fact that the growth rate of the farm sector in the same period is around 2.5 per cent.
- There are two branches of fishery sector namely Inland Fisheries and Marine Fisheries. The total fish production has nearly 65% contribution from the inland sector and rest form marine fishing.
- Fish and fish products accounts for around 10% of the total exports of the country and nearly 20% of the agricultural exports.
- One of the most significant characteristics of Indian fisheries sector is its small- scale nature. Besides being a source of protein rich nutritious food, income and livelihood to poor fishers, the fisheries sector is important for engaging the rural population in a number of ancillary activities- i.e. marketing, retailing, transportation, etc.
- Fishery is basically a State subjectand the primary responsibility for its development mainly rests with the State Governments.
Scope and Potential:
- The ‘fisheries and aquaculture sector’ is recognized as the sunshine sectorin Indian agriculture. It stimulates growth of number of subsidiary industries and is the source of livelihood for a large section of economically backward population, especially fishermen, of the country
- Role of fish in the nutritional security of India- It helps in increasing food supply, generating adequate employment opportunities and raising nutritional level
- The annual export earnings from 8.13 lakh tonne of fish and shell fish are about Rs 129 billion in 2011-12 accounting for 18 per cent of the country’s total agriculture export
- The fisheries sector in India has registered a commendable 11 fold growth during the last six decades, propelling the country to the forefront of fish producing nations in the world.
- It has a huge export potential and is a big source of foreign exchange earnings for the country
- India ranks third in world fish production and is the second largest producer of inland fish.
- With an annual production of over 8.29 million tonnes which accounts for a turnover of Rs 415 billion, fish contributes to more than 1 per cent of the national GDP and its share in the agricultural GDP is about 5 per cent (fisheries is understood by policy makers to be a component of agriculture).
- More than 14 million fishers and fish farmers depend on fishing and fish farming for their livelihoods, many times more that number eke out their living through support and ancillary activities such as fish processing, trade and the making of fishing crafts and gear.
Challenges of Fishery Sector
- The sector suffers from low-scale, stagnating yields of inland and freshwater aquaculture, and poor infrastructure such as cold storage facilities, leading to an estimated 15-20 % post-harvest loss.
- The access to quality seed and feed for fish farming coupled with inadequate availability of credit makes the poor fisher communities not to invest in fish farming.
- For inland harvesting of fish there is no code of conduct for leasing of water bodies and no separate provision of drought affecting this sector.
- Loss of habitat and indiscriminate fishing, marine fishing has declined due to depleting resources, energy crisis and resultant high cost of fishing.
- Enhanced human activity in aquatic areas creates the frequent occurrence of dead zone/ Hypoxic zones leading to shifting or permanent loss of fishing zone.
- With the increased usage of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP), and poor quality boats have amplified leading to ill-effects on marine culture.
Step that can be taken
- On par of agriculture: Aquaculture needs to be treated at par with agriculture in terms of water, power tariff, tax benefits, subsidy, insurance and credit
- Research on aquatic health management and development of disease resistant strains of fish.
- Implementation of Dr.B Meenakumari committee recommendations such as creation of buffer zone (between 200 metres and 500 metres in depth) and scientific use of fishing net should be implemented.
- Special insurance system for the fishing community and cooperation in safety and security of fishermen with neighbouring countries should be paramount to averse the loss of many fishers lives. The policies should aim at protection of livelihoods of fishers from various other economic and conservational activities.
- Revival of cooperative sector with constant engagement of center government would help in achieving the doubling the famers Income 2022.
- In the inland sector, while reservoirs and freshwater aquaculture would be the two main pillars of growth, other resources such as upland water bodies, floodplain lakes and wetlands, irrigation canals, saline and waterlogged areas also need to be gradually mainstreamed to start contributing to the production.
|Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) · Will be established under the Department of Fisheries for a robust fisheries management framework · Will address critical gaps in the value chain, including infrastructure, modernisation, traceability, production, productivity, post-harvest management, and quality control|
- Programmes aimed at production and distribution of quality seed and feed for aquaculture and also culture-based-capture fisheries, husbandry of farmed species would be essential to optimize production and productivity from inland fisheries and aquaculture in the country.
- While the estimated potential of the offshore waters offers opportunities for increase in production, the fishing fleet has limited capacity to harness the deep sea resource’s. This calls for up- gradation of the fleet as well as skills and capacities of the fishers and incentives to promote diversified fishing in the offshore waters. Use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and Artificial Reefs (ARs) for stock enhancement and promotion of mariculture could enhance production.
- In the area of legislation, the existing Marine Fishing Regulation Act (MFRA) of the coastal States/Union Territories (UTs) needs revision to incorporate the requirements of Code of conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), etc. Similarly, a model bill is needed for inland fisheries and aquaculture and a Central Act is required to regulate fishing by wholly Indian-owned fishing vessels in the EEZ.
Integrated Farming Systems
Integrated farming systems entail synergising different components of agriculture such as field crops, animals, poultry and fish to conserve resources and optimise resource use and outputs. Often, by-products and wastes from one segment act as inputs for another—thereby cutting down production costs drastically. By recycling the organic wastes, integrated farming systems become an instrument to achieve sustainability and reduce risks of environmental degradation. Rice-fish farming is a traditional integrated farming practice, followed in many parts of India for centuries. Recent technological upgradations have made these systems a more economical and an attractive proposition.