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New Department of Fisheries

  Mar 17, 2020

New Department of Fisheries

Department of Fisheries has been created in 2019. What benefits are expected from it?

A New Department Called Department of Fisheries has been created out of the erstwhile Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare.

over 14.5 million fishermen and several thousand people engaged in the supply chain of fish products. They have felt difficulty in getting things done in the bigger Ministry of Agriculture. An independent department for fisheries with a separate HoD at the helm of affairs is expected to rejuvenate the sector with more development projects getting cleared at faster rate.

The move may bring in more coordination in conservation measures, fishing regulatory measures and protection of interest of fishermen. 

What issues of the sector are in need of exclusive attention?

Exclusive attention is required to address issues pertaining to the sector, such as 

  1. Dwindling catch,
  2. Marine pollution, 
  3. Overfishing, 
  4. Climate change, and 
  5. Market stagnation.

What is the contribution of fisheries to Indian economy?

The sector contributes 1.1 per cent to GDP and 5.15 per cent to agricultural GDP. The focus on inland fishing and blue economy will have a multiplier effect on the national economy and contribution to GDP. 

India is the second-largest fish producing country, with total fish production of 10 million tonnes, and earned foreign exchange of ₹45,106.89 crore in 2017-18. This accounts for 20 per cent of the agricultural exports.

With marine, brackish water and freshwater resources, among others, and more than 10 per cent of the global biodiversity in terms of fish and shellfish species, the country has shown a continuous and sustained increment in fish production.

What is the potential of the sector?

India has huge potential to increase fish production from 2.02 million sq km of Exclusive Economic Zones, 1.91 lakh km of rivers and canals, 3.15 million hectares of reservoirs, and 1.24 million hectares of brackish water. This will enhance employment and the revenue of the country.

What other step was taken in the budget for the promotion and welfare of the sector?

The Union Budget 2019-20 also gave 2% interest subvention on loans to fish farmers which will also add to the positive impact.