e-Course; Capsule No - 447: Fisheries sector:

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Fisheries sector is a major livelihood of the poor, second only to agriculture (and allied sectors). It employs 14.49 million people directly and 60 million indirectly. According to 2011 census, fish production is 82.90 lakh tonnes (32.20 from marine and 50.70 lakh tonnes from inland fishing) worth Rs. 28115 crores (as per ICAR estimates). Fishing is done in in large groups, small groups or by a single person with the help of Alivi nets and Gill nets for fishing.

There are two major categories of fishing: inland fishing and marine fishing. Fish farming or aquaculture is also gaining prominence.

Inland fishing is practiced by 74% of fisherman communities in the country. These communities make use of the 14 major rivers and 44 medium rivers and numerous small rivers and streams, estimated to have 45000 km catchment area. Apart from this, canals contain 126334 km catchment area, reservoirs have a catchment area of 3.15 million (40% of the total catchment area) and ponds and tanks harbour 24000 hectares of catchment area. Tanks and reservoirs are maintained by Irrigation, Fisheries departments and the Zilla Parishad. Marine fishing is practiced along the 8118 km coastal line spread across 13 States and Union territories with 3202 fisherman villages.

60% of fishermen sell their catch to local traders who then sell it to wholesale traders. Fisher folk also sell their catch in nearby markets. Fish prices are determined by the region, season, fish species and fish size.