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Marine and Fisheries including capture, culture and processing is an important sector in India. It provides employment to millions of people and contributes to food security of the country. With a coastline of over 8,000 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq km, and with extensive freshwater resources, fisheries play a vital role. India ranks second in world fish production, contributing about 5.4 per cent of global fish production. It is also a major producer of f fish through aquaculture. Total fish production during 2013-14 is estimated at 9.45 mt with 6.10 mt coming from the inland sector and 3.35 mt from the marine sector. The sector contributes about 1 per cent to overall GDP and represents 4.6 per cent of agri GDP. (source : Economic survey of india, 2013-14)

The details of marine resources are illustrated in table below:

Marine
Length if coast line (km) 8,118
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) million Sq km 2.02
Continental Shelf (‘000 Sq km) 530
Number of Fish Landing Centres 1,537
No. of Fishing Villages 3,322
Inland
Total inland water bodies (lakh ha) 73.59
Rivers and canals (km) 195210
Reservoirs (lakh ha) 29.07
Tanks & Ponds (lakh ha) 24.14
Flood plain lakes/Derelict waters (lakh ha) 7.98
Brackish waters (lakh ha) 12.40

Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerela, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are key states that have huge potential to enhance India’s seafood exports. The production of fisheries (in 000’tonne) in major states is given below:

Year Andhra Pradesh West Bengal Gujarat Kerala Tamilnadu
2012-13 1675.44 1490.01 848.79 677.78 620.40

The bulk of the marine catch comprises oil sardines, followed by penaeid and non-penaeid shrimp, Indian mackerel, Bombay duck, croakers, smaller quantities of cephalopods, other sardines and threadfin breams. The major species from inland capture includes cyprinids, siluroids and murrels. Vannamei shrimp, black tiger shrimp, cuttlefish, lobster, clams, fish fillets and squid are certain products that are exported from India.

India’s substantial fishery resources are under-utilised and there is tremendous potential to increase the output. There is a huge scope for investments in packaged products, marine processing plants, operations in preservation, processing and export of coastal fish for the private sector as it holds vast, untapped marine resources with a great export potential.

Processing of fish into canned and frozen forms is carried out mostly for exports. Besides, there is an increased demand for processed and ready-to-eat marine products in the domestic and foreign market.

During 2013-14 exports aggregated to 9,83,756 MT valued at Rs. 30,213.26 crores and US$ 5,007.70 million. Compared to the year 2012-13, seafood exports recorded a growth of 5.98 % in quantity, 60.23% in rupee and 42.6 % growth in US$ earnings respectively. The unit value realization also reached to record high from USD/Kg 3.78 during 2012-13 to USD/Kg 5.09 during 2013-14 and recorded growth of 34.55%. The increased production of L. Vannamei shrimp has helped to achieve higher exports.

Export details 2012-13 2013-14 Growth %
Quantity Tonnes 928215 983756 5.98
Value Rs.crore 18856.26 30213.26 60.23
Value US $ Million 3511.67 5007.70 42.60
Unit value (US$/Kg) 3.78 5.09 34.55

Major items of export

Frozen shrimp continued to be the major export value item accounting for a share of 64.12% of the total US$ earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 31.85%, 99.54% and 78.06% in quantity, rupee value and US$ value respectively. There was all time high growth in unit value realization of frozen shrimp at 35.05%.

The overall export of shrimp during 2013-14 was to the tune of 3,01,435 MT worth US$ 3210.94 million. USA is the largest market (95,927MT) for frozen shrimps exports in quantity terms followed by European Union (73,487 MT), South East Asia (52,533MT) and Japan (28,719 MT).

The contribution of cultured shrimp to the total shrimp export is 73.31% in terms of US$. The export of cultured shrimp has shown tremendous growth of 36.71% in quantity and 92.29% in dollar terms.

The export of Vannamei has shown tremendous growth to 1,75,071 MT from 91,171 MT and US$ 1,994.27 million from 731.01 million compared to 2012-13. The export of Vannamei recorded a growth of 92.03% in quantity and 172.81% in dollar terms. 44.59 % of total Vannamei shrimp was exported to USA followed by 17.07% to EU, 16.54% to South East Asian countries and 4.01 % to Japan in terms US$. Export of Black Tiger shrimp reduced from US $521.33 million to 435.79 million and 61,177 MT to 34,133 MT compared to last year.

Fish, has retained its position as the principal export item in quantity terms and the second largest export item in value terms, accounting for a share of about 32.97% in quantity and 14.15% in US$ earnings. Unit value realization of fish also increased by 21.65%.

Export of Fr. Squid has shown growth of 15.98%, 25.68% and 10.78% in terms of Quantity, Rupee Value in and US$ terms. However it has shown decrease in unit value realization by 4.48%. Fr. Cuttlefish recorded a growth of 8.34% in quantity. Dried items have shown a positive growth in terms of rupee value by 21.72% and in dollar terms by 9.86%. Live items exports shown a growth by 16.17%, 42.43% and 26.81% in quantity, rupee value and US $ realization respectively compared to the previous year. (Source: MPEDA) There is a scope for developing technology for value addition and Storage infrastructure for exports of fish. Government is taking initiative to establishment of marine-based food parks through public private partnership. Government is also encouraging foreign investment in infrastructure for distribution and storage.

Policies in Fisheries

Foreign equity is permitted in fish processing sector. Fish processing projects with a minimum of 20% value addition can be set up as 100% Export Oriented Units. All items can be exported freely except for silver pomfrets of weight less than 300 gms.