Agri Business

India’s marine fish production rises 2% in 2019

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 30, 2020 Published on June 30, 2020

India’s marine fish production registered a marginal increase of 2.1 per cent in 2019, with the country recording 3.56 million tonnes in total landings.

Tamil Nadu grabbed the pole position with 7.75 lakh tonnes, followed by Gujarat (7.49 lakh tonnes), which had been holding the first position earlier, and Kerala (5.44 lakh tonnes) which retained the third position, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) a study report released here said.

The data showed an unusual feature — the red toothed trigger fish, a commercially unimportant fish, becoming the most landed resource (2.74 lakh tonnes), registering a huge increase in the landings. Ironically, this fish has little demand in 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 hugest setback, with its landings declining by 43 per cent last year. While States such as West Bengal (55 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (34 per cent), Odisha (14.5 per cent), Karnataka (11 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (10.4 per cent) recorded an increase in landings, the marine fish catch decreased in Maharashtra (32 per cent), Goa (44 per cent) and Kerala (15.4 per cent), compared to the previous year.

The estimate of the value of marine fish landings based on price at landing centres across the country during 2019 was ₹60,881 crore, a 15.6 per cent increase over 2018. The unit price per kg of fish at landing centre rate was ₹170.5 (12.2 per cent increase). At the retail level, the estimated value of marine fish was ₹92,356 crore (15 per cent increase over 2018). The unit price at the retail market level was ₹258.7 (12 per cent increase over 2018).

Kerala suffered a significant drop of 15.4 per cent in marine fish landings last year, with a total landing of 5.44 lakh tonnes. The sharp decline in the catch of oil sardine and Indian mackerel, the two major resources in the State, is the major highlight of landings in Kerala, A Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI, said.

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

In 2012, the catch of oil sardine in Kerala was 3.9 lakh tonnes. Since then, there was a substantial decrease in the catch every year, but it moved up in 2017. The oil sardine landings continued to decline for the past two years thanks to the unfavourable changes in the ocean environment.

The second highest landings at a national was ribbon fish (2.19 lakh tonnes), followed by penaeid prawns (1.95 lakh tonnes) and non-penaeid prawns (1.80 lakh tonnes).

As many as eight cyclonic storms (Fani in April, Vayu in June, Hika in September, Kyarr in October, Maha in Oct-Nov and Bulbul in Oct-Nov) affected the fishing calendar days more adversely on the West Coast.

Published on June 30, 2020
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