The government plans to formulate a National Fisheries Policy for holistic development of the sector, which is growing at an annual rate of 8 per cent, Union Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh said in the Rajya Sabha.

The government will take care of the interests of traditional fishermen while framing the policy, said Singh, who also holds Animal Husbandry and Dairying portfolios, while replying to supplementary questions during Question Hour.

New technologies

The policy will focus on bringing new technology and ways to deal with threat from cyclones as part of the overall objective to improve the income of fishermen, Singh said.

The proposed policy will incorporate the provisions of the existing National Policy on Marine Fisheries 2017. It will have provisions for sub-sectors of inland fisheries, aquaculture, and mariculture, including elements of post-harvest.

“Given the cross-cutting nature of various fisheries sub-sectors, it is considered that an integrated National Fisheries Policy would better serve the public interest rather than individual sub-sector wise policies,” Singh said.

The minister said fund allocation to boost the sector will depend on sectoral needs and priorities. He said the government had allocated ₹560 crore for the continuation of the Blue Revolution scheme during 2020-21 fiscal for undertaking various ongoing fisheries development programmes.

The government had created the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) during 2018-19 with a fund size of ₹7,522.48 crore spread over a period of five years. The fund provides finance at concessional rates to States and its entities, including the private sector, for development of fisheries infrastructure facilities in marine and inland fisheries sectors.

New scheme

The government in the Union Budget for 2019-20 announced a new scheme called Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) for the sector.

The ministry has formulated PMSSY scheme which envisages a total investment of about ₹20,050 crore, which includes Central, States and beneficiary shares over a period of five years with effect from 2020-21.