Aquaculture for all

Science Shows Inland fisheries have huge potential

INDIA - India's inland fisheries sector offers a wide scope for increasing fish production through aquaculture and by increasing the coverage of water area.

India is the second largest producer of fish through aquaculture next to China. It accounts for 4.7 per cent of world fish production and 2.5 per cent of global market, yet annual production could be doubled by utilising the available reservoir areas, says the India's Council of Agricultural Research.

Both aquaculture, which has been registering an annual growth rate of over six per cent, and fisheries have become important enterprises in both coastal and inland states contributing to food baskets and employment generation as well as the economy of different regions.

"The country stood fourth in the world in fish production with annual production of about 6.57 million tonnes with the marine and inland sectors contributing 2.9 million tonnes and 3.67 million tonnes respectively," said S Ayyappan, Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

"By increasing the coverage of water area and the productivity of existing water bodies by 50 per cent, the total production from aquaculture could be doubled," he said.

The annual export earnings from fish and shellfish was more than Rs 8,000 crore, accounting for 18 per cent of the agricultural exports and over two per cent of total exports.

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