India’s marine fish production records marginal increase

India’s marine fish production registered a marginal increase of 2.1 per cent in 2019 compared to the previous year, according to the figures released on Tuesday by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

The CMFRI report says the country recorded 3.56 million tonnes in total landings from across the coasts during 2019, with Tamil Nadu grabbing the first position in the landings with 7.75 lakh tonnes. It was followed by Gujarat with 7.49 lakh tonnes and Kerala came at the third position with 5.44 lakh tonnes.

A highlight of the report was a commercially unimportant fish — redtoothed triggerfish — which became the most landed resource of 2.74 lakh tonnes.

This fish has been in little demand in the domestic markets and is mostly caught for the purpose of feed mills.

The Indian mackerel, which was in the first spot in 2018, suffered the highest setback with its landings declining by 43 per cent in 2019.

The second highest landing was the ribbon fish with 2.19 lakh tonne catch, followed by penaeid prawns — 1.95 lakh tones and non-penaeid prawns –1.80 lakh tonnes.

The study also pointed out that as many as eight cyclonic storms in and around India, of which six of them turned out to be severe, affected the fishing calendar days more adversely on the west coast of the country.

It also found out that Kerala suffered a significant drop of 15.4 per cent in the marine fish landings during 2019, with a sharp decline in the catch of oil sardine and Indian mackerel.

While oil sardine dropped to a meagre 44,320 tonnes, the lowest catch in two decades, the Indian mackerel with 40,554 tonnes experienced a steep decline of 50 per cent .

The estimate of the value of marine fish landings based on price at landing centres across the country during 2019 was Rs 60,881 crores with 15.6 per cent increase over 2018.