KOCHI: India’s marine fish production registered a marginal increase of 2.1% in 2019 compared to the previous year with the country recording 3.56 million tonnes in total landings from across the coasts during the year, according to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). A study report on annual marine fish landings estimates in the country during the last year released here by the CMFRI also showed that Tamil Nadu grabbed the first position in the landings with 7.75 lakh tonnes followed by Gujarat (7.49 lakh t), which was holding the first position for a past few years, and Kerala (5.44 lakh t) which retained the third position.
The data showed an unusual feature of a commercially unimportant fish becoming the most landed resource with the red toothed trigger fish (2.74 lakh t) registering a huge increase in the landings across the coasts of the country. Ironically, this fish has little demand in domestic markets and is mostly caught for the purpose of feed mills. In another major highlight of the data, Indian mackerel, which was in the first spot in 2018, suffered the highest setback with its landings declining by 43% during the last year. While the states such as West Bengal (55%), Andhra Pradesh (34%), Odisha (14.5%), Karnataka (11%) and Tamil Nadu (10.4%) recorded increase in the landings, the marine fish catch decreased in Maharashtra (32%), Goa (44%) and Kerala (15.4%) compared to the previous year. The second highest landings in national-level is ribbon fish (2.19 lakh t) followed by penaeid prawns (1.95 lakh t) and non-penaeid prawns (1.80 lakh t).
As many as 8 cyclonic storms in and around India of which 6 of them turned out to be severe cyclones (Fani in April, Vayu in June, Hika in September, Kyarr in October, Maha in Oct-Nov and Bulbul in Oct-Nov) affected the fishing calendar days more adversely on the west coast of the country.