With strong sea currents and a massive ocean floor, India is blessed with natural conditions to breed fish. Over the past 75 years, India’s fish sector has transformed itself with a 22-fold increase in fish production, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said. The government has taken the lead to give heft to the sector. A national daily has highlighted a unique initiative, Sagar Parikrama, on the part of Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala. He has been visiting coastal areas to meet fishermen, understand their problems, and hear their suggestions.
The sector’s growth could be gauged by the numbers. From just 7.5 lakh tons in 1950-51, India’s total fish production has reached a high of 162.48 lakh tons per annum in 2021-22, with a 10.34% growth in fish production in 2021- 22 in comparison to 2020-21, the national daily reported.
Unsurprisingly, India has risen as the third-largest fish-producing country with approximately eight perfect shares in global fish production. The report adds that India is second in aquaculture production and one of the top cultured shrimps producing nations.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying was quoted as saying, “The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have vast potential for fisheries development given its Coastal length of about 1,962 km and Continental shelf area of 35,000 sq. km. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around this island is about 6,00,000 sq. km with huge Fishery potential.”
The Ministry said, “The journey of the First Phase of Sagar Parikrama started from Mandvi, Gujarat on March 5, 2022, and so far in the Five Phases of Sagar Parikrama the coastal areas of Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Maharashtra and Karnataka have been covered in the western coast.”
Sagar Parikrama is intended at creating substantial changes in the development strategy of fishermen. It’s held that the influence of Sagar Parikrama on the holistic development of fisher folk and their livelihood, including climate change and sustainable development, would only increase in the years to come.