India produces about 6.57 million metric tonne fish every year. The inland-sector, which has a growth rate of 6 per cent, contributes around 55 per cent of it.
According to S Ayyapan of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India is home to more than 10 per cent of global fish biodiversity with 2200 species of fish and shellfish in the marine and inland waters.
“With water resources in terms of 29,000 km of rivers, 3.15 million hectares of reservoirs, 2.35 million hectares of ponds and tanks and 0.2 million hectares of floodplain wetlands, the potential production levels are estimated at over 4.5 mmt annually,” Mr Ayyapan said.
“Rivers are sources of precious germplasm and breeding ground for a host of fish species. Reservoirs and floodplain lakes offer an opportunity for enhancing fish production,” Mr Ayyapan added. He stressed the need for community intervention in stock enhancement and resource management. “For example, ponds, tanks and water harvesting structures are being put to aqua-culture practices, integrating a number of other farming systems”.
Carps contribute as much as 87 per cent of the total aquaculture production,”points out Mr. Ayyapan. “This is achieved by combining mainstay culture practices with strong traditional knowledge and by applying scientific strategies in management”.