Natural Resources – Fisheries Resources
Natural Resources – Fisheries Resources
Broadly, Fishery Resource in India is of two types
1) Inland and 2) Marine
1) Inland Fishery: The principal rivers and their tributaries, canals, lakes, ponds comprise the inland fisheries.
2) Marine Fishery: The marine resources comprise of two wide arms of the India Ocean and a large number of gulf and bays along the coast.
The importance of fishery in India is vital. India has a good potential for fishery production. India is having 2 million sq. kms of exclusive economic zone for deep sea fishing, 7520 kms of coast line 29000 kms of rivers, 1.7 million hectares of reservoirs, nearly 1 million hectares of brackish water area, and 0.80 million hectares of tank and ponds for inland and marine fish production. During the year 1984-85 out of total fish production of 2.9 million tones, 1.1 million tones came from inland fisheries and 1.8 million tones from marine sources. About 1.8 million fish men depend upon fisheries resource for their livelihood.
In spite of above mentioned large potential1 India still too much behind in fishery production as compared to other countries. Japan contributed about 43% of total fish, production of Asia followed by China (18%). India’s contribution is hardly 9%. In terms of rupees, the fish production in 1984-85 it was only Rs.389 crores which was 0.63% of NNP. Thus in the performance of this resource was not satisfactory.
To eliminate the backwardness of this industry, Govt. started to encourage the industry since from 5th Five year plan. In this plans high priority to the development of fishers was given because of necessity to raise the nutritional levels of protein deficient. It had allocated Rs. 159 crores for fishery development. The important stops were taken and abut 200 deep see fishing vessels were introduced. During 7th plan fisheries programme gives special attention to family based labour intensive inland and brackish water fisheries and improving the harvesting from seas by stimulating the growth of country boats, mechanized boats and deep seas trawlers (trawlers means that boat that drags a trawl along the sea bottom).
It was believed that due to modernization, it was possible to increase the fish catch by 20 times (i.e. from 1.3 million tones from sea to 35 million tonnes). Moreover, the application of fish culture can improve the supply of fish. The Tungbhadra Dam Project has showed that with the use of fish culture methods within a few years, supplies of fish could be increased from 700 pounds to 300000 pounds.
In view of the nutritive value of fish and the employment potential Govt. has taken many steps for development of marine and inland fishery resources in our country. The important decisions in this regard were as under.
1. For improvement of marine fisheries the programme of mechanization of fishing crafts is being followed vigorously. As a result, numbers of mechanized boats were nearly 20,000 and deep sea fishing f1eets were 85 in 1984-85.
2. Govt. of India is providing subsidy up to 33% of the cost of vessels.
3. Fishing harbors capable handling small and medium size fishing vessels have been developed at the miner ports.
4. An integrated fisheries project has been in operation in Cochin. The major activities of this project include.
a) Experimental fishing
b) Production & marketing of diversified fish products
c) Setting up a modern aluminum canning plant and
d) Training of personnel for fisheries industry.
5. During 5th plan the central Govt. sponsored “Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDA’s) to popularize fish farming in tanks and ponds. There is 147 FFDA’s functioning in 17 States. About 101 thousands hectares of water have been brought under intensive fish culture. The yield was raised from 50 kgs/hectare in 1971 to about 239 kgs/ha in 1981-82.
6. In 7th five year plan “Fisheries Industrial Estates” by grouping together a few selected coastal villages have been set up or the first time.
7. Those FI estates have facilities of nets, boats, supply of diesel and spare parts of engines, processing, preservation and marketing.
8. In 7th plan an amount of Rs.500 crores was allocated for fishery development.