India’s Fishing Industry


In a new series of short and to-the-point economic bulletins, CSM India will be casting our eyes over key industries one by one. This week we are looking at the Indian fishing industry. How is the industry shaping up? What kind of state is it in for the moment and what are the opportunities for tomorrow?

China was ranked as the number one country in Fish Production for the year 2016. The total fish production from China was around 81.5 million tonnes. To give you some perspective, for the year 2016 India was ranked at 3rd position with total fish production at around 10.8 million tonnes. Some of the fishes captured by India are oil sardines, Indian mackerel, and shrimps.

Fishing is an important sector in India – it provides employment to millions of people and contributes to the food security of the country. With a coastline of over 8,000 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq. km, and with extensive freshwater resources, fisheries play a vital role. Here are some key points about the industry:

  • There are 3,288 marine fishing villages in India, 1511 marine fish landing centres in 9 maritime states and two union territories.
  • Of the 4 million fishermen in India, approximately 61% of fishermen were living Below Poverty Line (BPL).
  • There are 3,288 marine fishing villages and 1,511 marine fish landing centres in 9 maritime states and 2 union territories
  • Among the marine fishermen households nearly 76% were Hindus, 15% were Christians and 9% were Muslims. The overall percentage of SC/ST among the marine fishermen households was 17%.
  • The average family size of fishermen families was 4.63 and the overall sex ratio was 928 females per 1000 males.
  • About 38% of marine fisherfolk were engaged in active fishing with 85% of them having full-time engagement. About 63.6% of the fisherfolk were engaged in fishing and allied activities. Nearly 57% of the fisherfolk engaged in fish seed collection were females and 43% were males

Fish production in India stood at 13.7 million metric tonnes in 2018-19 pre-Covid. An inland sector of fishing constitutes 65% of the total fish production. Fish and fish products are the largest group in agricultural exports in the year 2018-19.

Exports of fish from India were valued at more than Rs 47,000 crores. The fisheries sector had grown rapidly from 4.9% in 2012-13 to 11.9% in 2017-18. Seeing the potential with Fish Production, India has integrated all the schemes of the fisheries sector into an umbrella scheme called Blue Revolution. The main objective of the Blue Revolution is to increase fish production and productivity from both inland and marine sources. With that kind of growth and increasing reliance on inland fisheries, there are great opportunities for investment in this sector.