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The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has been undertaking various production, input supply and infrastructure development programmes and welfare oriented schemes besides formulating/ initiating appropriate policies to increase production and productivity in the Fisheries Sector.

Fish production since 1980-81 is shown in the table below:

Fish production since 1980-1981
Year Marine Inland Total
1980-81 15.55 08.87 24.42
1990-91 23.00 15.36 38.36
1991-92 24.47 17.10 41.57
1992-93 25.76 17.89 43.65
1993-94 26.49 19.95 46.44
1994-95 26.92 20.97 47.89
1995-96 27.07 22.42 49.49
1996-97 29.67 23.81 53.48
1997-98 29.50 24.38 53.88
1998-99 26.96 26.02 52.98
1999-2000 28.52 28.23 56.75
2000-2001 28.11 28.45 56.56
2001-2002 28.30 31.20 59.56
2002-2003 29.90 32.10 62.00
2003-2004 29.41 34.58 63.99
2004-2005 27.78 35.26 63.04
2005-2006 28.16 37.55 65.71
2006-2007 30.24 38.45 68.69
2007-2008 29.19 42.07 71.26

The fisheries sector has been one of the major contributors of foreign exchange earnings through export. Export of fish and fishery products has grown manifold over the years. From about 15,700 tonnes valued at Rs.3.92 crore in 1961-62, exports have grown to 5.41 lakh tonnes valued at Rs.7621 crore in 2007-08.

Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture

The ongoing scheme of Development of Freshwater Aquaculture and Integrated Coastal Aquaculture have been combined with four new programmes on Development of Coldwater Fish Culture, Development of water-logged Area and Derelict water bodies into aquaculture estates, Use of Inland Saline/Alkaline Soil for Aquaculture and programme for augmenting the Productivity of Reservoirs. This scheme broadly has two components: Aquaculture and Inland Capture Fisheries.

Development of Freshwater Aquaculture

The Government has been implementing an important programme in inland sector, viz., Development of Freshwater Aquaculture through the Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDAs). A network of 429 FFDAs covering all potential districts in the country are in operation. During 2007-08, about 24,752 ha of water area was brought under fish culture and 35,000 fish farmers were trained in improved aquaculture practices through FEDAs.

Development of Brackish-water Aquaculture

With the objective of utilizing the country's vast brackish-water area for shrimp culture, an area of about 30,889 hectares was developed for shrimp culture till 2007-08 through 39 brackish-water Fish Farmers Development Agencies (BFDAs) set up in the coastal areas of the country. The agencies have also trained 31,624 fishermen in improved practices of shrimp culture till 2007-08. Presently about 50 per cent of the shrimp exported from the country is from aquaculture.

Development of Marine Fisheries

The Government is providing subsidy to poor fishermen for motorizing their traditional craft, which increases the fishing areas and frequency of operation with consequent increase in catch and earnings of fishermen. About 46,223 traditional crafts have been motorized so far. The Government has also been operating a scheme on fishermen development rebate on HSD oil used by fishing vessels below 20 meter length to offset the operational cost incurred by small mechanized fishing boat operators.

Development of Fishing Harbour

The Government has been implementing a scheme with the objective of providing infrastructure facilities for safe landing and berthing to the fishing vessels. Since inception of the scheme, six major fishing harbours viz., Cochin, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Roychowk, Paradip and Season dock (Mumbai), 62 minor fishing harbours and 190 fish landing centres have been taken up for construction in various coastal States/UTs.

Welfare Programmes for Traditional Fishermen

Important programmes for the welfare of traditional fishermen are

  • Group Insurance Scheme for active fishermen
  • Development of Model Fishermen Villages
  • Savingcum- relief Scheme, and
  • Saving cum component financial assistance is provided to the fishermen during the lean fishing season.

About 3.5 lakh fishermen were assisted under the saving-cum-relief programme in 2008-2009.

Specialised Institutes

The Central Institute of Fisheries, Nautical and Engineering Training, Kochi with units at Chennai and Visakhapatnam, aims at making available sufficient number of operators of deep-sea fishing vessels and technicians for shore establishments. Integrated Fisheries Project, Kochi, envisages processing, popularizing and test marketing of unconventional varieties of fish. The Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fisheries, Bangaluru, is engaged in techno-economic feasibility study for location of fishing harbour sites. Fishery Survey of India (FSI) is the nodal organization responsible for survey and assessment of fishery resources under the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

National Fisheries Development Board

National Fisheries Development Board was established to work towards blue revolution with a focus on to increase the fish production of the country to a level of 10.3 million tonnes, to achieve double the exports from 7,000 crores to 14,000 crores and direct employment to an extent of 3.5 million by extending assistance to the various agencies for implementation of activities under Inland, Brackish water and Marine sectors. IT will become a platform for public-private partnership for fisheries, a mechanism for an end approach for ensuring proper in self-availability to efficient marketing etc.

It is an autonomous organization under the administrative control of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India. IT has been registered with the Office of the Registrar of Societies, Hyderabad on 10th July 2006 with the registration number of 933 of 2006. The Board was inaugurated on 9th September 2006. The office was established at Hyderabad.

The period of implementation of the various activities of the board is 6 years (2006-12):

  • To bring major activities relating to fisheries and aquaculture for focused attention and professional management.
  • To coordinate activities pertaining to fisheries undertaken by different Ministries/Departments in the Central Government and also coordinate with the State/Union territory Government.
  • To improve production, processing, storage, transport and marketing of the products and culture fisheries.
  • To achieve sustainable management and conservation of natural aquatic resources including the fish stocks.
  • To apply modern tools of research and development including biotechnology for optimizing production and productivity form fisheries.
  • To provide modern infrastructure mechanisms for fisheries and ensure their effective management and optimum utilization.
  • To generate substantial employment.
  • To train and empower women in the fisheries sector, and
  • To enhance contribution of fish towards food and nutritional security.

Major activities to be taken up by the National Fisheries Development Board:

  • Intensive aquaculture in ponds and tanks.
  • Enhancing productivity from Reservoir Fisheries
  • Brackish water Coastal Aquaculture
  • Mariculture
  • Sea Ranching
  • Seaweed Cultivation
  • Infrastructure for Post Harvest Programmes
  • Fish Dressing Centres and Solar Drying Fish
  • Domestic Marketing
  • Other Activities

The total budget provision for implementation of various activities of National Fisheries Development Board for the period 2006-12 is Rs.2100.00 crores and subsequently reduced to Rs.1500.00 crores.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 07-01-2011