NEW DELHI || The marine fish production in the country during the last four years has been reported as 33.20 lakh tonnes in 2012-13; 34.39 lakh tonnes in 2013-14; 36.55 lakh tonnes (Provisional) in 2014-15 and 35.83 lakh tonnes (Provisional) in 2015-16 respectively, against the potential yield of 44.12 lakh tonnes estimated for the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The variations in fish production may be attributed to several reasons such as high fishing pressure, changes in fishing gear dimensions, over capacity, pollution, environmental factors, climate change etc. Deep-sea fishing vessels (DSFVs) in the Exclusive Economic Zone are only allowed to carry out resource-specific fishing beyond 12 nautical miles from the territorial limits.
Apprehensions of local fishing community, if any, regarding poor fish yield in territorial waters due to operation of these DSFVs are largely unsubstantiated, as the areas of operation as well as targeted resources are different in case of DSFVs and the local traditional fishing communities.
A committee has been constituted on 28th July, 2015 under the chairmanship of Dr. S. Ayyappan, former Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) with terms of reference to inter alia ascertain the present status of exploitation of marine fishery resources by various sectors, namely, traditional sector, mechanized boats sector and deep-sea fishing vessels; and to consult all stakeholders for preparing a draft National Policy on Marine Fisheries for over-all development of marine fisheries in India.