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Fisheries >Capture Fisheries

Introduction

Capture fisheries is intended for catching fishes, prawns, lobsters, crabs, molluscs etc. India is endowed with vast and varied aquatic resources (Marine and Inland) amenable for capture fisheries. India is the third largest producer of fish and second largest producer of inland fish in the world. The fisheries sector provides employment to over 11 million people engaged fully, partially or in subsidiary activities pertaining to the sector, with an equally impressive segment of the population engaged in ancillary activities. Potential of fish production from marine and inland sources has been estimated at 3.9 million tonnes and 4.5 million tonnes, respectively.

Inland Capture Fisheries

Inland resources comprises of rivers and canals, estuaries, floodplains, wetlands, lagoons and reservoirs. While the marine water bodies are used mainly for capture fisheries resources, the inland water bodies are widely used both for culture and capture fisheries. Inland capture fisheries of India has an important place; it contributes to about 30% of the total fish production. The large network of inland water masses provides great potential for economic capture fishery. 

Marine Capture Fisheries

The capture marine fishery resource of India comprises of a long coastline (8118 kms.) and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (2.025 sq. kms). Marine capture fisheries play a vital role in India’s economy, providing employment and income to nearly two million people. The marine fishing fleet is estimated to be 280491 nos., consisting of traditional crafts (181284 nos.), motorized traditional craft (44578 nos.) and mechanized boats (53684 nos.). In the total marine fish production, the share of traditional, motorized and mechanized sector is estimated at 9%, 26% and 65% respectively.

Coastal resources up to 100 m depth are subject to intensive fishing pressure and is exploited at levels close to or exceeding optimum sustainable limit. While the inshore waters have been almost exploited to the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels, the contribution from the deep sea has been insignificant, hitherto directed at shrimps only. Having almost reached a plateau in production from the coastal waters, the scope for increasing fish production from marine sources now lies in the deep sea. Of the many options to harness deep-sea fishery resources, diversification of the existing deep sea fishing fleet and introduction of resource specific vessels for long lining, purse seining and squid jigging is catching more attention.

Capture Fisheries in Kerala

Kerala has a coastline of 590 kms, EEZ of 147740 sq. kms and continental shelf of 39139 kms. The fishermen population in the state is 10.89 lakhs. At present there are 5504 nos. of mechanized boats, 29395 nos. of motorized boats and 21956 nos. of non-motorized crafts operating from Kerala. On the inland sector the state is rich with 44 rivers, 53 reservoirs, and 53 backwaters. Net production of fish and prawns from Kerala during 2004-05 was estimated at 6.78 and 0.73 lakh MT respectively. Kerala exported 87378 MTs of marine products worth Rs. 115807 lakhs during the same period.

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