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India overtakes China in inland capture water fisheries to emerge among top 3 fish producers

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

Inland fish production has doubled over the past 9 years to 13.1 M tonnes

Source: Stockfile FIS

India has overtaken China to become the largest contributor of inland capture water fisheries, thereby emerging as one of the top three fish-producing countries in the world.

T Pradeepkumar, Vice Chancellor, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos), said the country’s growth in both aquaculture and capture fisheries has been phenomenal in the last few decades due to meticulously planned projects and developmental strategies, especially with the outlay of ₹20,5000 crore (USD 246 M) under Prime Minister’s Matsya Sampada Yojana.

On the occasion of World Fisheries Day, Parshottam Rupala Union Minister of Fisheries Animal Husbandry and Dairying said the country’s inland fish production reached a remarkable surge at 131 lakh tonnes, doubling over the past nine years following the strategic government initiatives.

Blue revolution 2.0

According to the Kufos VC, the growing role of fisheries and aquaculture in meeting global food security, nutrition and employment is being discussed like never before by planners and policymakers. Several initiatives including biofloc farming, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture mangrove-based organic farming, trout culture in temperature-controlled indoor facilities, cage culture, seaweed culture, production of high-value ornamental fish and so on have become popular in different parts of the country.

Kufos has been focusing on standardising the breeding technologies of indigenous cultivable fishes with the intention of bringing more diversity in the pool of species available for aquaculture.

Source: Aquaconnect

Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Founder and CEO, Aquaconnect said, “With 8 per cent share in global fish production, India is the second largest aquaculture producer, third largest fish producer, and fourth largest seafood exporter, putting us on top spot when it comes to global seafood production. This growth trajectory in the last two decades is what makes aquaculture a sunrise sector, paving the way for Blue Revolution 2.0”.

Long road ahead

To move ahead and sustain the country’s position in global fisheries production, he said it is essential to address the critical gaps in the sector. Unlike other industries, aquaculture still has a long road ahead when it comes to embracing technological solutions. “This hinders us from realising the true potential, be it on the production front, consumption, or even exports. But we have the opportunity to advance AI and satellite remote sensing that can bring transparency, efficiency, and predictability in both production and post-harvest value chain and drive the sector forward”, he said.

At the same time, there is a pressing need to promote domestic consumption of seafood. With innovative marketing efforts, we can reach the masses across the nation. In comparison to the evolution of poultry, he said seafood is still at a nascent stage when it comes to value addition.

Aquaculture is one of the key pillars of global food security and providing livelihood to millions of farmers, it is essential to drive such efforts to make the sector more resilient with stable market dynamics to continue to feed the globe and fulfil growing protein demand, he said.

Author: V Sajeev Kumar | The Hindu Business Line 

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