India’s marine catch rose 2 percent in 2019

Published on
July 6, 2020

India pulled in more marine fish and gained more value from their sale in 2019, according to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

In 2019, the country produced 3.56 million metric tons (MT) of marine fish, up 2.1 percent year-on-year. Tamil Nadu was the biggest producing state with 775,000 MT, followed by Gujarat with 749,000 MT, and Kerala with 544,000 MT, according to CMFRI.

West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu raised their production volumes in 2019, while Maharashtra, Goa, and Kerala experienced a decline in output.

In Kerala, production dropped by 15.4 percent to 544,000 MT, with drops seen in the landings of oil sardine and Indian mackerel, its two key resources. The output of oil sardine dived to 43,320 MT, the lowest level in 20 years, while the Indian mackerel decreased 50 percent year-on-year to 40,554 MT.

“The oil sardine landings again continued to decline for the past two years thanks to the unfavorable changes in ocean environment,” CMFRI said.

Catches of the redtoothed triggerfish, which is mainly supplied to feed mills, significantly increased to 274,000 MT last year, nearly four times the total catch in 2018. The output of India’s other economically important marine species included ribbonfish with 219,000 MT, cephalopods with 218,000 MT, anchovies with 195,000 MT, and penaeid prawns with 195,000 MT, data from CMFRI showed.

The output of Indian mackerel, which was the largest contributor to the country’s total marine fish production in 2018, fell 43 percent year-on-year to 162,000 MT in 2019.

The estimated value of the output, calculated at landing centers throughout India, surged 15.6 percent year-on-year to USD 8.1 billion (EUR 7.2 billion) in 2019. The estimated retail price-based value of the production also saw an increase of 15 percent to USD 12.3 billion (EUR 11 billion), CMFRI said.

Six cyclonic storms hit India in 2019, severely affecting fishing activities across the country, especially in the west coast, the organization said.

Photo courtesy of leshiy985/Shutterstock

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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