Fisheries’ production reached a new high of 125.90 lakh tonnes in 2017-18, while the value of exports also recorded a new peak of Rs.45,106.89 crore in that year, according to the Handbook on Fisheries Statistics 2018 published by the Department of Fisheries in September 2019. The amount of fisheries products exported in 2017-18 touched 13,77,240 tonnes, the report said.
Production has been steadily growing in recent years, clocking 95.79 lakh tonnes in 2013-14, 102.60 lakh tonnes the next year, and 107.62 lakh tonnes in 2015-16, before rising to 114.31 lakh tonnes in 2016-17.
In 2017-18, inland production accounted for more than two-thirds of total production and marine production the rest. Inland production has been posting healthy growth in the past few years, rising from 61.36 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 to 89.02 lakh tonnes in 2017-18, up 45 per cent. In contrast, marine production has barely risen, moving up from 34.43 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 to 36.88 lakh tonnes in 2017-18.
Andhra Pradesh, which has retained the top spot in production for several years, has made rapid strides in recent years, raising its output from 20.18 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 to a whopping 34.50 lakh tonnes in 2017-18, recording a growth of nearly 71 per cent. For the latest year under review, the State accounted for 27.4 per cent of the all-India production. West Bengal was a distant second in 2017-18 with 17.42 lakh tonnes; the State has managed to increase its production by a mere 10.18 per cent from 15.81 lakh tonnes in 2013-14.
According to the handbook, the length of India’s coastline is 8,118 kilometres. The number of persons engaged full-time in fishing operations is 54,09,563, while the total population of the fishermen community is 1,60,96,975.