Government is to launch Blue Revolution as a major thrust, announced Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister for Agriculture on World Fisheries Day. The move is seen as a measure to increase fish production and productivity in the country.
The Minister informed that India ranks world number two in fish production and also the second highest aquaculture country in the world. India with a fishermen population of 14.5 million and a coastal line of 8118 kilometers can rise to be a major player in the world fisheries. India also has a fleet of 200,000 fishing vessels and last year has exported fish worth USD 5 billion.
He informed that the Government has announced a new scheme “Blue Revolution-Inland Fisheries” in the last budget session, and the Government is likely to launch very soon a programme to usher in Blue Revolution in the country. Even though the per capita income consumption in the world for fish is 18 kilograms per annum, India stands at 8 kilograms. India currently produces 9.58 million metric tonnes of fish out of which 64% of production is Inland and 36% is from marine sources.
The Minister also informed that fisheries can be an engine of growth due to high growth rates of 7.9% in Inland fisheries last year. Fisheries in both inland and marine waters have been contributing as an important source of livelihood and supplies nutritious protein for the growing population.
From a mere traditional activity years ago, the fisheries sector has transformed into a significant commercial enterprise with an impressive growth in recent times. As per the latest FAO statistics released in 2014 (The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014), the global fish production has reached to 158 million tonnes, with food fish supply increasing at an average annual rate of 3.2 percent, outpacing world population growth at 1.6 percent.