Fish culture is an ancient traditional art in india. Over the decades,through “blue revolution’’, this subsistence based tradition has been transformed into a scientific market driven, intensive and economic enterprise.Rising population coupled with inelastic land supply led the policy makers to look beyond the land frontiers and put consistent efforts to develop fishery sector to augment food security.The fishery sector is not only a source of protein substitution but also generates employment for a large segment of society and helps earn foreign exchange. Thus, India having 7500km long coastline and large inland land advantage has a huge opportunity to emerge as a well developed fishing country of the world.

Fisherya) Marine fishery

  1. b) inland fishery

  2. c) Aquaculture

Indian scenario

  • India is the 3rd largest producer of fishes(commercial fishing)in the world with a global share of 8%.

  • India is the 2nd largest in aquaculture production in the world 

  • India is the 4th largest exporter of fish in the world constituting about 18% of its agriculture experts worth 46,662crore.

  • According to the economic survey(2019-20) total fish production reached 14.2 million tonnes i.e 58% of its inland potential,and fishing,aquaculture and allied activities provide livelihood to over 14million people.

  • Fisheries sector has continued to register an annual growth rate of more than 10%.

Significance of fishery sector

  • India’s geographical advantages like coastline, large Exclusive Economic zones(EEZs), extensive area under estuaries, backwaters, floodplain lakes,rivers, reservoirs, etc.and huge utilised area like swamps offers a great potential and is being tapped on which is evident from the fact that india’s fish production increased from 0.75 million tonnes in 1951 to 8 million tonnes in 2019.

  • There is a thousand fold increase in the value of marine products export.This is due to export oriented hatchery technology, cultural freshwater pearls and a disciplined post harvest chain in selected pockets of the country. Employment has reason with provision of assured livelihood to about 14million people.

  • Fishery sector provides nutritional security, as it is a rich and cheap source of protein which has consequently registered an increase in per capita consumption of fish.


 Challenges for fisheries sector

      There are inevitable problems associated with greater intensification of production.

  • Population pressure coupled with commercial interest has failed to prevent over capitalisation of marine fishing capacity.

  • Poor resource management has led to overfishing and depleted the onshore resources which further leads to scarcity and conflict between economic and ethnic groups.

  • Haphazard growth and monoculture in inland fisheries leads to outbreak of epidemic diseases. 

  • Encroachment of fertile land for aquaculture would degrade the soil and groundwater quality.

  • Market driven overharvesting, introduction of exoctic species and pollution will lead to extinction of the natural fish population.

 What needs to be Done?

    • Integrated fish farming is an ecologically sustainable option including fish polyculture,crop and livestock production involving on farm waste recycling.

    • Multipurpose seaweed park will provide quality seaweed based products.

    • Fish cooperatives can play a key role in the overall development at community level and support sustainable income generation.

    • India aims to achieve the target of producing 22 metric tonnes of fish by 2024-25.

    • In order to have balanced development , the govt has taken right initiatives through schemes like Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada yojana(PMMSY) Whereas it aims to double the incomes of fishers and fish farmers by 2024.

    • Employment of fisher women in the fishing as well as post harvest sector has led to their economic empowerment.

  • Palk Bay scheme- “Diversification of trawl fishing boats from palk straits into Deep sea fishing Boats” was launched in 2017 as a centrally sponsored scheme as a part of blue revolution.

    • Marine fishing policy 2004 emphasised on resource management and infrastructure development,post harvest operation and legislative support.

    •  Fisheries and Aquaculture infrastructure development fund(FIDF). It attracts investment from the corporate sector in creation and management of fisheries infrastructure facilities in the country.

  • Kisan credit card- Played a great role in providing financial aid to fish farmers.

  • Marine product export development authority(MPEDA), established as a nodal agency in 1972 to work for fishery production and allied activities.  


In an era of Globalisation and rising demands, the exploitation  and cultivation of fishes have surpassed the natural regeneration capacity of sea and land and hence calls for sustainable fishing habits coinciding with SDG 15(Life below water). Given the Indian scenario, obviously there is a scope for expansion in the fishery sector by evolving integrated approaches and developing economically and ecologically sustainable technology Wrt- a) Fish breeding (b) Fish rearing (c) Fish marketing (d) Fish export. Clearly, it is time to focus on quality research and development, prioritising hygiene in processing centres and fishing harbours streamlined through legislative mandates. Further, fishing as an occupation for both men and women helps in societal cohesion and harmony.


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