22 May 2023, New Delhi: The Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Parshottam Rupala shared that the fisheries sector of India has gradually evolved over the years to become an important pillar of socio-economic growth of the nation. Commencing purely as a traditional activity at the time of India’s Independence, over the past 75 years the sector has transformed into a commercial enterprise with a 22-fold increase in fish production. From a mere 7.5 lakh tons in 1950-51, India’s total fish production has reached a record 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. Today, India is the 3rd largest fish-producing country with about 8% share in global fish production. It stands 2nd in aquaculture production and is one of the top cultured shrimps producing nations in the world.
Fish being an affordable and rich source of healthy animal protein and omega-3 fatty acids offers immense potential to mitigate hunger and malnutrition. This promising sector provides livelihood, employment, and entrepreneurship to more than 2.8 crore fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and several lakhs along the value chain, he said.
The growth of inland fish production, predominantly propelled by aquaculture, has been even more spectacular. From mere 28.23 lakh tons per annum in 2000-01, the inland fish production stood at 121. 21 lakh tons per annum in 2021-22, a staggering 400 percent increase. The inland fisheries and aquaculture production of the country has almost doubled since 2014. This is due to the significant contribution made by our fisheries scientists, especially of ICAR institutes in the development of various breeding technologies, concerted efforts of the center and state governments, and hardworking fishers, fish farmers, and entrepreneurs.
“Sagar Parikrama” is an evolutionary journey envisaged in the sea across the coastal belt demonstrating solidarity with all fisher folk, fish farmers, and concerned stakeholders as a spirit of 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav saluting our great freedom fighters, sailors, and fishers. It is an initiative by the Government of India, aiming to resolve the issues of the fishers and other stakeholders and facilitate their economic upliftment through various fisheries schemes and programs being implemented by the Government of India such as Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and KCC.
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