A place where fish are reared for commercial purposes.
• a fishing ground or area where fish are caught.
• the occupation or industry of catching or rearing fish.
India has vast potential for fisheries from both inland and marine resources. It has a large marine product and processing potential with varied fish resources along the 8041-km long coastline, 28000 km of rivers and millions of hectares of reservoirs & brackish water. Fisheries in India is a very important economic activity and a flourishing sector with varied resources and potentials. Only after the Indian Independence, has fisheries together with agriculture been recognized as an important sector. The vibrancy of the sector can be visualized by the 11–fold increase that India achieved in fish production in just six decades, i.e. from 0.75 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 9.6 million tonnes during 2012–13.
This resulted in an unparalleled average annual growth rate of over 4.5 percent over the years which has placed the country on the forefront of global fish production, only after China.
Besides meeting the domestic needs, the dependence of over 14.5 million people on fisheries activities for their livelihood and foreign exchange earnings to the tune of US$ 3.51 billion (2012–13) from fish and fisheries products, amply justifies the importance of the sector on the country’s economy and in livelihood security.
Presently, the country ranks second in the world in total fish production with an annual fish production of about 9.06 million metric tonnes.
Major products: Frozen & canned products mainly in fresh form. Fisheries play an important role in the national economy, providing
full-time or part time employment to 5.96 million people. The contribution of fisheries to GDP at the current price level is 1.3%. There are 10 363 registered fisheries societies in India, with a membership of 1122 000 people. It is also a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings. During 1997-98, the estimated foreign exchange earning was about Rs 4486 Cr which is increasing at an average annual rate of 17.3 %. The country exports annually around 390738 ton of processed sea foods with an export value of Rs 5124.6 Cr. The size of the market is Rs 26000 Cr (as of 1999- 2000).
There is growing export of canned and processed fish from India. The marine fish includes prawns, shrimps, tuna, cuttlefish, squids, octopus, red snappers, ribbon fish, mackerel, lobsters, cat fish etc.
In the last six years there was substantial investment in fisheries to the tune of Rs. 30, 000 million of which foreign investments were of the order of Rs. 7000 million. The potential could be gauged by the fact that against fish production potential in the Exclusive Economic Zone of 3.9 million tonnes, actual catch is to the tune of 2.87 million tonnes. Harvesting from island sources is around 2.7 million tonnes.
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