Combining the production of all types of fisheries (capture and culture), the total fish production has reached at about 11.41 million tonnes in 2016-17 and India has become the second largest fish producing country in the world, Union Agriculture Minister Radhan Mohan Singh said while addressing a conference on the occasion of World Fisheries Day in New Delhi today.
He said that the scheme 'Blue Revolution' has been launched with the outlay of Rs. 300 crore for the integrated development of the Fisheries sector in the country. As a result, overall fish production has registered an increase of about 18.86% in comparison to the last three years, whereas inland fish production has registered a growth of more than 26%.
On the occasion, the government also clarified that the previously implemented "Letter of Permit" or "L.O.P." system in the E.E.E. has been stopped since January, 2017. Besides, specific decisions have been taken to safeguard the interests of traditional fishermen in the area of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) beyond 12 nautical miles, which is regulated by the Government of India, such as the traditional fishers have been exempted from the fishing ban implemented during monsoon period in the EEZ; use of LED lights/other artificial lights for fishing as well as practice of bull-trailing or pair-trailing have been completely banned, recently on 10th November, 2017. The Minister said that the duration of fishing ban has also been increased from 47 days to 61 days, with the consent of all coastal State Governments.
November 21 is celebrated as a World of Fisheries Day worldwide every year. In India, the theme of this year is aligned with doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The vast aquatic resources present in the country provide more opportunities and potential for further development in fisheries sector. It is understood that main aim of Blue Revolution Scheme is to increase the fish production and productivity to up to 8% annual growth rate and to produce 15 million tonnes of fish by 2020. The scheme is expected to contribute significantly to achieving the targets of doubling the income of farmers and fishermen by 2022.
To push the sector, the Centre has taken steps and proposed a long-term plan "Blue Revolution Mission-2016" for the period from 2015-16 to 2019-20. Under this scheme, it is proposed to achieve full production capacity and increase the fish productivity from the aquatic resources and aquaculture in both inland and marine sectors.
India has a fleet of 2.48 lakh fishing vessels, and the country has exported fish products amounting to US$ 5.78 billion (Rs 37,871 crore) during 2016-17, which is the highest export from the country so far. Globally, the value of export of annual fish products ranges from 85 to 90 billion dollars. The sector also provides jobs and livelihood to over 1.5 crore people in the country.