Fish landings up by 5.6% in Kerala

Revival of oil sardines played a major role in improving production

June 26, 2018 07:24 pm | Updated June 28, 2018 07:55 am IST - KOCHI

Marine fish landings have shown signs of revival. The fish catch report during 2017 released by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here on Tuesday showed that landings went up by 5.6% when compared to the previous year.

For fishermen and fish-lovers in Kerala there is good news. Indian oil sardine harvest has revived by 176% on Kerala coast. Oil sardine, which was showing a decreasing trend for the past few years, topped the list of marine fishery resources this time with a landing of 3.37 lakh tonnes (8.8 per cent of the total landings) registering an increase of 38 per cent all over India.

The year 2016 was the record low within the last two decades for oil sardines. The catch of Indian mackerel also increased whereas the landings of Hilsa shad, threadfin breams and tuna dropped this year.

Significant increase of mackerel was recorded in West Bengal, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.

Indian mackerel, ribbon fishes, lesser sardines, penaeid prawns and non-penaeid prawns are the other major resources with landings of 2.88 lakh tonnes (7.5%), 2.39 lakh tonnes (6.2%), 2.27 lakh tonnes (5.9%), 2.10 lakh tonnes (5.5%) and 2.03 lakh tonnes (5.3%).

Gujarat tops

The total marine fish landings in India (excluding Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands) in 2017 was 3.83 million tonnes, with Gujarat in the top position for the fifth consecutive year with 7.86 lakh tonnes (20.5%) of total landings followed by Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

This is the highest catch after a record-high landings in 2012. Marine fish landings improved in all the maritime States other than Tamil Nadu and a palpable dip in the Union Territories of Puducherry and Daman and Diu.

Revival of oil sardine in coastal States, especially in Kerala, played a major role in improving the country’s marine fish production this time.

However, the east coast witnessed a decline in the oil sardine catch with 83% drop in Andhra Pradesh and 36% in Tamil Nadu compared to 2016. A total of 788 marine fish species landed this time along the Indian coast with maximum numbers along the Tamil Nadu coast followed by Kerala and Maharashtra.

Resurgence of oil sardine fishery helped Kerala attain an increase of nearly 12% in the marine fish landings with a total catch of 5.85 lakh tonnes against 5.23 lakh tonnes in 2016. Oil sardine catch went up to 1.27 lakh tonnes from a mere 45,958 tonnes in 2016. With this, Kerala secured third position behind Gujarat and Tamil Nadu in the total marine fish landings of the country.

The state was in the fourth spot last time. The other major resources appeared in the topmost list were penaeid prawns (43,468 tonnes), scads (43,463 tonnes), cephalopods (43,213 tonnes) and threadfin breams (41, 841 tonnes).

Catch of ribbon fish increased nearly 63% in Kerala with a landing of 20,729 tonnes which also helped the State to improve its total marine fish production this year.

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