India's marine fish production
registered a marginal increase of 2.1 per cent in 2019 compared to the previous year with the country recording 3.56 million tonnes in total landings from across coasts during the year, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute said.
In the year 2018, India's marine fish production was down by nine per cent at 3.49 million tonnes against 3.83 million tonnes in the previous year.
A report on annual marine fish landings estimates in the country during the last year released here on Tuesday by the CMFRI showed that Tamil Nadu grabbed the first position in the landings with 7.75 lakh tonnes followed by Gujarat (7.49 lakh t), holding first position for past few years.
Kerala (5.44 lakh t) retained the third position.
The data showed an unusual feature of a commercially unimportant fish becoming the most landed resource with the red toothed trigger fish (2.74 lakh t) registering a huge increase in the landings across the coasts of the country.
Ironically, this fish has little demand in domestic markets and is mostly caught for the purpose of feed mills.
In another major highlight of the data, Indian mackerel, which was in the first spot in 2018, suffered the highest setback with its landings declining by 43 per cent during the last year.
While the states such as West Bengal (55 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (34 per cent), Odisha (14.5 per cent), Karnataka (11per cent) and Tamil Nadu (10.4 per cent) recorded a rise in the 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 second highest landings in national-level is ribbon fish (2.19 lakh t) followed by penaeid prawns (1.95 lakh t) and non-penaeid prawns (1.80 lakh t).
As many as eight cyclonic storms in and around India of which six of them turned out to be severe cyclones (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 of the country.
The estimate of the value of marine fish landings based on price at landing centres across the country during 2019 was Rs 60,881 crores with 15.6 per cent increase over 2018.
The unit price per kg of fish at landing centre rate was Rs. 170.5 (12.2 per cent increase).
At the retail level, the estimated value of marine fish was Rs. 92,356 crores (15 per cent increase over 2018).
The unit price at the retail market level was Rs. 258.7 (12 per cent increase over 2018).
The marketing efficiency determining the producers share of the consumers was found to be 66 (0.6 per cent increase over 2018).
The Fishery Resources Assessment Division of the CMFRI estimated the annual marine fish landings of the country through its online data collection system.
According to the data released by the CMFRI at a press conference, Kerala suffered a significant drop of 15.4 per cent in the marine fish landings during the last year with a total landings of 5.44 lakh tonnes.
Sharp decline in the catch of oil sardine and Indian mackerel, the two major resources in the state, is the major highlight of Keralas landings.
While oil sardine dropped to a meagre 44,320 tonnes, the lowest catch in two decades, Indian mackerel (40,554 t) experienced a steep decline of 50 per cent compared to the previous year.
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.
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