Fisheries Sector

JAN 13

Mains   > Agriculture   >   Allied areas   >   Fisheries

WHY IN NEWS?

  • India’s fisheries sector, which has seen double-digit average annual growth of 10.87 per cent since 2014-15, has recorded fish production of 142 lakh tons in FY 2019-20, which has become a new record.

BACKGROUND

  • Fisheries and aquaculture continue to be an important source of food, nutrition, income, and livelihood for millions of people.
  • India is the second largest fish producing country in the world accounting for 7.56 per cent of global production
  • The sector contributes about 1.24 per cent to the country's Gross Value Added (GVA) and over 7.28 per cent to the agricultural GVA.

SIGNIFICANCE

  • Nutritional significance
    • Fish being an affordable and rich source of animal protein, is one of the healthiest options to mitigate hunger and malnutrition.
  • Instrumental in sustaining the livelihoods
    • Sector provides livelihood support to about 2.8 crore people at the primary level and almost twice the number along the value chain.
    • The employment are generated especially for marginalised and vulnerable communities and has contributed towards encourage socio-economic development
  • Export earnings
    • Export earnings from the fisheries sector has been Rs 46,662.85 crore during 2019-20.
  • Increasing productivity
    • The productivity of freshwater fish farms has gone up to more than 3 metric tonnes per hectare from the 2.5 tonnes per hectare.
    • Productivity of brackish water coastal aquaculture has touched 10 to 12 metric tonnes per hectare — a sharp increase from the previous two to four tonnes per hectare.

CHALLENGES

  • Lack of data:
    • Lack of a reliable database relating to aquatic and fisheries resources in India.
  • Food safety issues:
    • Recently, the most important challenge is faced by fishing sector is usage of formalin and ammonia in fish.
  • Sustainability:
    • The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture reports note that:
      • Nearly 90 per cent of the global marine fish stocks have either been fully-exploited or over-fished or depleted to an extent that recovery may not be biologically possible.
      • While the near-shore coastal waters are highly overfished, the high value fish stock proliferates in the deep seas.
  • Geographical challenges
    • India lies in Tropical belt. Tropical fisheries have higher oil content which is less desirable for eating.
    • In the Tropical regions, multiple varieties of fishes occur, but in smaller groups, which is not good for large scale commercial exploitation.
  • Lack of capability of fisherman :
    • Insufficient Mechanization:
      • Marine capture fishery comprises largely of small fishermen who operate traditional boats — either non-motorised vessels or boats with a basic outboard motor.
      • These vessels cannot operate beyond near shore waters.
      • High value species such as tuna cannot be caught by fishermen who use these vessels.
    • Lack of technology:
      • Due to the poverty of fishermen they not able to use latest technology. Still most of them follow traditional fishing.
    • Poor infrastructure such as cold storage facilities, leading to an estimated 15-20% post-harvest loss.
  • Low productivity:
    • Productivity in both marine and inland fisheries sectors is low in terms of per fisher, per boat and per farm.
    • In Norway, a fisherman/farmer catches/produces 250 kg per day while the Indian average is four to five kg.
  • Lack of access to quality seed and feed for fish farming
  • Lack of linkage between research and fish farmers community:
    • Limited number of species grown / cultured, mainly due to weak linkages between research and development and fish farmers community.
  • Boundary disputes with Sri Lanka:
    • Tensions over fishing in the Palk Straits have severely impacted the fisheries sector
    • Fishermen from both India and Sri Lanka are periodically arrested and have their boats seized for straying into their neighbour’s territorial waters
  • Ecological issues:
    • Ecological destruction and marine bio-diversity loss due to indiscriminate fishing
    • Increased use of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) >> leading to ill effects on marine culture.
    • Pollution
      • Aquatic pollution, destruction of fish habitats and frequent occurrence of Dead Zones/Hypoxic zones leading to shifting or permanent loss of fishing zone.
    • Marine pollution
      • Marine pollution such as oil spills, sewage disposal etc is detrimental to fish production

INITIATIVES

  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
    • Launched in Union Budget, 2019-20
    • Objectives of the scheme:
      • Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
      • Enhancing of fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilization of land and water
      • Modernizing and strengthening of value chain - post-harvest management and quality improvement
      • Doubling fishers and fish farmers’ incomes and generation of employment
      • Enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA and exports
      • Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers
      • Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework
    • Major components
      • Cluster or area-based approach
        • It would be followed with requisite forward and backward linkages and end to end solutions.
        • Suitable linkages and convergence will be fostered with other centre and state government schemes wherever feasible.
      • Active participation of States/UTs
        • Creation of State Programme Units in all States/UTs & District Programme Units and Sub-District Programme Unit in high fisheries potential districts.
      • Infusing new and emerging technologies
        • Re-circulatory Aquaculture Systems, Biofloc, Aquaponics, Cage Cultivation etc.
      • Special focus on:
        • Coldwater fisheries development
        • Expansion of Aquaculture in Brackish Water and Saline Areas
        • Seaweed cultivation and Ornamental Fisheries
        • Fisheries development in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Islands, Northeast, and Aspirational Districts through area specific development plans.
      • Collectivization of fishers and fish farmers through Fish Farmer Producer Organizations (FFPOs)
        • To increase bargaining power of fishers and fish farmers
      • Development of Coastal fisher communities
        • In a holistic manner through integrated modern coastal fishing villages with necessary infrastructure
      • Insurance:
        • Insurance coverage for fishing vessels has been introduced for the first time.
        • Annual Livelihood support for fishers during ban/lean period would be provided.
      • Extension support services:
        • Youth would be engaged in fisheries extension by creation of Sagar Mitras in coastal fisher villages
      • Promotion of high value species:
        • Establishing a national network of Brood Banks for all commercially important species
        • Genetic improvement and establishing Nucleus Breeding Center for self-reliance in Shrimp Brood stock
      • Promotion of organic aquaculture and its certification
      • Private sector participation, development of entrepreneurship and innovative project activities in fisheries sector.
    • Expected outcomes:
      • Enhancing fish production
      • An increase in the contribution of GVA of fisheries sector to the Agriculture GVA
      • Increase the export earnings through fisheries sector
      • Enhancing productivity in aquaculture from the present national average of 3 tonnes to about 5 tonnes per hectare.
      • Reduction of post-harvest losses from the reported 20-25% to about 10%.
      • Enhancement of the domestic fish consumption from about 5-6 kg to about 12 kg per capita.
      • Generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in the fisheries sector along the supply and value chain.
  • National Fisheries Policy 2020:
    • It aims to develop an ecologically healthy, economically viable and socially inclusive fisheries sector.
  • National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB):
    • An exclusive body for fisheries development called ‘National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB)’ was established in 2006.
  • Inclusion of fishermen in the PM-KISAN scheme
    • which gives Rs 6,000 annually to farmers in three equal instalments.
  • Extension of the KCC facility in the fisheries sector
    • Government has extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers in the budget for 2018-19
    • KCC will help fishermen and farmers in meeting their working capital requirement >> through improved access to institutional credit facilities
  • Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA)
    • Established Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) for regulation of coastal aquaculture activities
  • GEMINI device:
    • GEMINI stands for Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation & Information
    • It aims for dissemination of information on disaster warnings, Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen.
    • GOI also issued an advisory to all coastal States & UTs to make mandatory the use of Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) in fishing vessels for safe navigation.
  • Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries
    • It is an umbrella scheme to create an enabling environment for integrated development of the full potential of fisheries of the country
    • The scheme has the following components:
      • National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities
      • Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture
      • Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post-Harvest Operations
      • Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector
      • Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector
      • Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions
      • National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF):
    • To assist in creating several infrastructural needs of the sector in the country.

 

SUGGESTIONS:

  • Diversification:
    • Diversification of marine fishing activities to tap the deep sea and under-utilized resources
    • Adoption of culture based capture fisheries in reservoirs and under- utilized larger water bodies.
    • Species diversification and introduction of high value commercial species.
  • Improving governance:
    • Networking of all line Departments/organizations dealing with fisheries under a single agency
    • Aquaculture needs to be treated at par with agriculture in terms of water, power tariff, tax benefits, subsidy, insurance and credit.
  • Demand side intervention:
    • Encourage fish consumption through awareness on the health benefits of fish and its nutritional security.
  • Socio economic welfare of fisher folk:
    • Revamping of FFDAs and involvement of Cooperative Societies and Self Help Groups (SHGs) and ensuring the socio economic welfare of fisher folk.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Improving marketing infrastructure and value addition
    • Construction of new ponds and tanks.
  • Usage of expertise of scientific institutions and fishers:
    • The expertise of scientific institutions and fishers will be utilized to optimize fishing efforts and implement measures to check resource depletion and ensure sustainability.
  • Promotion of innovative practices
    • For ex:Re-circulatory aquaculture system’ helps to realise the goal of more crop per drop.
    • Promotion of ‘cage culture’  in reservoirs and other open water bodies.

PRACTICE QUESTION:

Q. Analyse the challenges associated with ensuring ecological and economical sustainability in marine and inland fishing in India?

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