Marine fisheries management in India with special reference to Tamil Nadu


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Marine fisheries management in India with special reference to Tamil Nadu

  1. 1. e mail: Mobile: +919003040778 Marine Fisheries Management H.Mohamad Kasim Former Principal Scientist & Scientist in Charge Madras Research Centre of C M F R Institute, #75, Santhome High Road, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai - 600028
  2. 2. Potential yield from EEZ Realm Potential (t) Production 2010 Scope Pelagic 2128424 1667546 4,60,878 Demersal 2082653 1406736 6,75,917 Oceanic 208000 -- 2,08,000 Total 4419077 3074282 13,44,795
  3. 3. Potenital yield from different depth zones Depth Zone Potential (t) up to 100 m 3837398 100-200 m 259039 200-500 m 114640 Oceanic 208000 Total 4419077
  4. 4. DIFFERENTIAL ECOSYSTEMS Coramandal Coast : North coast from Arangankuppam to Nagapattinam in Bay of Bengal. Open sea, surf beaten, most of the time rough, exposed to cyclone and tsunami Palk Bay: Middle portion of the coast between Nagapattinam and Rameswaram. Almost closed, with 2 openings, one on the north into Bay of Bengal and another in the south into GOM, Calm, quiet, shallow, like a sprawling lake, divided by an International Boundary Line (IBL)between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Gulf of Mannar: Southern coast from Rameswaram to Kanyakumari, Bioreserve, National Marine Park, with 21 coral islands between Rameswaram and Tuticorin, with a highly productive Wedge Bank, with opening into Palk Bay, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
  5. 5. TAMILNADU STATE PROFILE No. of Fishing Villages : 581 No. of Landing Centres: 352 No. of Fishermen Families: 192,152 Fisherfolk Population : 790,408 Estimated production(2008): 429,544 t
  6. 6. Table 1. Chronological increase in the marine fishing craft, villages, fishermen population and fish production during 1948-2000 Year Crafts Villages Populati on Fish produ ction Catamarans Canoes Mechanise d Boats 1948-49* 11262 1942 --- 233 95,735 27,135 1957*** 23161 4716 --- 242 2,36,653 67,542 1961-62 29661 363 2,14,868 1,16,245 1973- 77** 30501 1533 374 2,88,586 2,05,735 1978*** 29744 7340 2919 403 3,37,713 2,12,899 1980** 31851 11492 2627 422 3,95,903 2,17,394 1986*** 28132+ 656(OBM) 8439+742 (With engine) 2432+ 82(FRP) 442 4,63,800 2,44,759 2000*** 27272 14498 8009 591 6,79,971 3,93,332 2005** 20082 26627 7711 581 7,90,408 2,81,268 Source: * Govt. of India, ** C.M.F.R.Institute, and ***Tamil Nadu Fisheries Dept.
  8. 8. PHASE PERIOD FISH PRODUCTION REMARKS 1 1956-65 MODERATE GROWTH Fishing by non-motorised traditional boats and catamarans. Change in fish catch due to the introduction of nylon nets. No mechanised fishing. 2 1966-75 CONTINUED GROWTH Introduction of trawling and growth in fish production 3 1976-86 FURTHER GROWTH WITH MODERATE GROWTH RATE Expansion of fishing area and further growth in fish production by trawling 4 1987-97 PERIOD OF FASTER GROWTH Expansion of traditional and motorised boast; introduction of motorisation of traditional boats, emergence of oils sardine as one of the top 10 species and yet to be noticed. 5 1998- 2004 FIRST TIME DECLINE IN GROWTH Irrespective of an increase in the fishing capacity there is a decline in the fish production. This was mainly due to the decline in oil sardine and clupeids 6 2005- 2010 POST TSUNAMI REVIVAL IN FISH PRODUCTION Unexpected growth in oil sardine production. This was due to targeted fishing for oil sardine. Oil sardine has emerged as No.1 resource and this
  9. 9. Percentage composition of marine fish landings in Tamil Nadu by Mechnised, Motorised and Non mechanised sectors during 2000-2008 69.7% 29.2% 1.1%
  10. 10. Pelagic finfishes 51%Demersal finfishes 30.3% Crustaceans 9.2% Molluscs 3.5% PERCENTAGE COMPOSI TON OF DI FFERENT RESOURCES
  11. 11. COMPOSITION OF DIFFERENT PELAGIC RESOURCES Oil sardine 30% Bombayduck 9% Mackerels 8% Ribbonfish 11% Carangids 9% Seerfishes 4% Tunnies 4% Other sardines 7% Hilsa shad 3% Anchovies 6% Other Clupeids 3% Others 6%
  12. 12. Perches 28% Croakers 20%Elasmobranchs 9% Flatfishes 8% Catfishes 9% Silverbellies 8% Lizard fishes 5% Pomfrets 6% Goatfishes 2% Threadfins 2% Eels 2% Big-jawed jumper 1% COMPOSI TI ON OF DEMERSAL FI SHERY RESOURCES
  13. 13. Trawl fisheries
  14. 14. Motorised
  15. 15. Non motorised
  16. 16. MARINE FISH PRODUCTION IN TAMIL NADU BY THREE SECTORS DURING 2001-2010 • Mechanised boats are contributing the maximum to the total marine fish production in Tamil Nadu • Percentage contribution by the mechnised sector increased from 43.1 to 71.2% with an average of 56%. • Percentage contribution by the motorised sector declined from 49.5% in 2006 to 26.1% in 2009 with an average of 35.6%. • Fish production by the non-motorised sector declined from 18.4% in 2001 to 1.1% in 2010 with an average of 8.4%. This is mainly due to the conversion of the traditional boat to motorisation.
  17. 17. TOP TEN FISHERY RESOURCES IN TAMIL NADU DURING 2001-2010 MECHANISED MOTORISED NON-MOTORISED SPECIES CATCH SPECIES CATCH SPECIES CATCH Silverbellies 35982 Other sardine 27479 Oil sardine 9914 Oil sardine 24818 Oil sardine 26274 Stolephorus 3755 Penaeid prawn 15086 Mackerel 12586 Other sardine 3432 Other sardine 12059 Other carangid 7668 Crabs 2630 Other carangid 9488 Pig face bream 6557 Other carangid 1212 Other Perches 8581 Crabs 4605 Mackerel 1098 Rays 6086 Seerfish 4070 Other perches 926 Goatfishes 5625 Thryssa 4020 Thryssa 772 Sciaenids 5573 Other clupeid 3928 Silverbellies 708 Other clupeid 5304 Silverbellies 3283 Penaeid prawn 664
  19. 19. DISTRICTWISE MARINE FISH PRODUCTION IN TAMIL NADU IN 2001 AND 2010 AND THE DIFFERENCE IN TONS DISTRICTS 2001 2010 DIFFERENCE THIRUVALLUR 12310 3190 -9120 CHENNAI 28412 37989 9577 KANCHEEPURAM 9102 4256 -4846 VILLUPURAM 7283 17262 9979 CUDDALORE 26450 76938 50488 NAGAIPATTINAM 53303 25459 -27844 THNJAVUR 12974 19434 6460 PUDUKKOTTAI 23682 21478 -2204 RAMANATHAPURAM 51432 133940 82508 TUTICORIN 66527 66772 245 TINNEVELI 9221 12382 3161 KANYAKUMARI 50013 89925 39912 TOTAL 350709 509025 158316
  20. 20. POTENTIAL YIELD AND TOTAL ANNUAL FISH PRODUCTION IN TAMIL NADU • Potential yield within 200 nautical miles in Tamil Nadu has been estimated to be 4.25 lakh tons • Present marine fish production in 2009 was 5.34 lakh tons and in 2010 it was 5.09 lakh tons. • It is well known that the Chennai and Palk Bay trawlers fish in Andhra Pradesh and Sri Lankan waters repectively. • The catch over and above 4.25 lakh tons may be assumed to have been from the waters of Andhra and Sri Lanka. • It is clear that the Tamil Nadu fishers have already crossed the potential yield of the region and therefore there is no scope for increasing the fish production from Tamil Nadu waters.
  21. 21. FISHERY • Continuous growth in TN fisheries since 1950 • 5 fold increase in fish catch over 50 years 3-fold increase in active fishers • Continuous expansion of fishing operations to deeper and distant waters • Continuous discovery of new grounds and resources. • Entire shelf area off TN coast is covered by the TN fishing fleet and there is no scope for additional catches from the shelf area
  22. 22. CATCH FROM ADJACENT WATERS • A sections of the TN fleet depend heavily on fishing in neighbouring waters • Around 20% of the catch comes from Andhra and Sri Lanka Findings ……contd
  23. 23. DEEPSEA FISHING • TN a pioneer in deep sea fishing if defined as fishing beyond the shelf • Thoothoor fishermen with a fleet of 500 liners cum gillnetters reign all over the west coast and land the catch (guesstimate of 20,000-30,000 tonnes) at Cochin • Chennai gillnetters and a tiny fleet of long liners in Pondicherry have already started fishing beyond the shelf on the east coast Findings ……contd
  24. 24. Findings ……contd IN EXCESS OF POTENTIAL YIELD • TN fisheries well developed beyond its own geographical area and fishing in the coastal waters of neighbouring states as well as in the deepsea beyond State jurisdictions explains the paradox of TN fish landings touching a new peak of 5.33 lakh tones in 2009 well beyond the potential yield estimate of 4.25 lakh tonnes by CMFRI. • Landings grew continuously till 1997, had a sharp fall during the period 1998-2004 and then a sharp increase in the following period 2005-09 hitting the new peak of 5.33 lakh tonnes.
  25. 25. EMERGENCE OF NEW RESOURCE • There are major structural changes in marine fishery resources with the emergence of the low value Oil sardine as the No.1 species contributing over 20% of the catches. • Oil sardine catches in the coastal waters and new catches from deeper waters mask the decline of many coastal fish resources • This led to near-total elimination of the non- motorised fishing with the artisanal fishermen compelled to motorise to go deeper for more Findings ……contd
  26. 26. OVER CAPITALIZATION • There is every reason to believe that fish catch levels are being maintained only by continuous increases in investment and operating costs leading to over capitalization of the fishery Findings ……contd
  27. 27. COMPETITION • Lack of entry barriers and capacity controls has led to an intense competition between sub sectors and between units within each sub-sector • In order to keep going this has led to continuous higher investments to increase scale and shift towards more efficient gears Findings ……contd
  28. 28. INEQUITY IN RESOURCE SHARING • Keen competition has also led to an unfavourable distribution of fish catch between sub-sectors • The mechanized sector with just 25% of the workforce has increased its share from less than 50% a decade back to over 69.7% in 2010 • Inter-sectoral conflicts and adoption of banned gears by both mechanized and motorised boats are considerable Findings ……contd
  29. 29. MANAGEMENT SYSTEM • The system for fisheries management is fragmented with the Department of Fisheries having only a limited control over what happens in the sea. • The MFRA implementation is only partial, varied and depends mostly on the cooperation of the fishing community. • The MFRA is based on the typical “top-down system of management” that ignores ‘self-governing systems’ which are still in place among the fishing communities Findings ……contd
  30. 30. TRADITIONAL SYSTEM • The fishing communities’ own systems of management are still very much in place, only there is weak coherence between the decisions taken by different villages and different groups reducing the efficacy of these systems. • DoF and Fishermen Associations having their own sources of power and often both pulling in different directions, consequently neither has adequate control on fishing Findings ……contd
  31. 31. OVER CAPACITY • All sections of the fishermen have the feel of the heat of ‘over capacity’ and cut-throat competition and are interested in finding radical solutions to various fishery problems. • The ‘restriction on fleet size and unit capacity’ enforced by the Chennai Mechanized Boat Owners Associations is just one such indication • The demand for a “buy-back” programme by trawl owners in the Palk Bay is another. Findings ……contd
  32. 32. PROSPECTS FOR MANAGEMENT • The administration is unable to use this opportunity as it is locked into an unhealthy relationship with the fishing community through a number of “welfare schemes” that make the relationship one of “patron-client” rather than “partners in management” ECOSYSTEM DEGRADATION • Threats to the coastal and marine eco-system from non- fishery activities are on the increase • These are threatening to overtake ‘over-fishing’ as the major cause for fish depletion, especially in near shore waters Findings ……contd
  33. 33. SECTORAL CONFLICT • The fisheries sector is weak in protecting its interests vis-à-vis other sectors and this is leading to considerable distress and unrest in many parts of the coast FISHER’ RIGHTS • The rights of the Fishermen community need to be recognised/protected and there is an urgent need to address this issue by the Administration and appropriate Agencies Findings ……contd
  34. 34. Recommendations CO-MANAGEMENT • TN needs to recognise that its hitherto approach of unregulated growth of fishing capacity and weak management cannot continue any further. • This requires a fundamental shift in approach and this can come only with the support of the fishing community itself. • This also requires the development of a system of “co-management” that works on the basis of partnership between the fishing community and DoF with the community institutions playing a major role in fisheries management
  35. 35. • Village level traditional institutions as well as the self organized boat owners associations may be used as building blocks for a new multi- tiered system to manage fisheries in the state. • Eventually, a four tiered system with Village or Landing centre based institutions at the base could emerge. • Starting with some of the FIMSUL initiated platforms, ‘co-management’ can be experimented with as pilots including a ‘state level platform’ and a ‘Palk Bay platform’. Recommendations………contd
  36. 36. • The structure has to evolve rather than be “set up” and the transfer of power take place in a gradual and orderly manner on the basis of demonstrated abilities to manage fisheries. • The successful development of co-management also requires a large awareness and capacity building programme for the fishing community and a proper orientation for the DoF staff. Recommendations………contd
  37. 37. Recommendations………contd LIMITED ACCESS • An early shift from “open access” to “limited access” is recommended. • The key to this would be to restrict the right to own fishing vessels. • One option would be to restrict ownership to families who have been in fishing for at least one generation (25 years). • Another option is to restrict ownership to owner-operators or active fishermen.
  38. 38. OVER CAPACITY • Capacity controls have to be urgently introduced for the mechanized fleet • While capacity controls for the artisanal fleet can evolve on need basis over a period of time. • Freezing trawl fleet capacity and a strategy to reduce it is extremely important for the health of the resources and for the equitable distribution of fishing opportunities among the members of large fishing community. • Such capacity reduction programmes can be designed in a manner that is not labour displacing. Recommendations………contd
  39. 39. FLEET REDUCTION • Trawl fleet reduction could be first started on a war footing in the Palk Bay, where the resolution of trans- border fishing will be difficult with a large trawl fleet • A combination of fleet retirement and redeployment needs to be worked out urgently. • Given that redeployment may be feasible only for a section of the fleet, a “buy-back scheme” aiming at fleet retirement or decommissioning needs urgent consideration. • A full-fledged package for the Palk Bay that covers owners and workers needs to be developed through a combination of expert inputs and community dialogue Recommendations………contd
  40. 40. GEAR CONTROL • Important gear controls like the ban on pair trawls and ring seines need to be implemented by building community support and should show firmness in enforcement Recommendations………contd
  41. 41. MANAGEMENT PLANS • Detailed planning at different levels of the fishery need to be developed on the concept of “management plans”—both at geographical / spatial and resource levels—as instruments under the “co-management system” • Management plans can also be used to address the current lack of coherence between Fisheries and other Departments like Environment and Forests to ensure better performance Recommendations………contd
  42. 42. DEEPSEA FISHING • Deep sea fishing on the entire west coast of India is a monopoly of Kanyakumari fishermen • Deep sea fishing in the Bay of Bengal offers a good opportunity for the north coastal districts • TN & P fishermen having ventured beyond the shelf, it is likely that in the next few years TN fishermen will dominate the deep sea fishing on the east coast also Recommendations………contd
  43. 43. Potential yield of Oceanic resources Oceanic Resource Potential (t) Yellowfin tuna 80,000 Skipjack tuna 99,000 Bigeye tuna 500 Billfishes 5,900 Pelagic sharks 20,800 Other species (Barracuda, Dolphin fish, Wahoo etc.) 1,800 Total 208,000
  44. 44. DEEPSEA FISHING………..Contd • While deep sea fishing has good potential for TN fishermen, some caution is required while developing it. • Since the deep sea resources like sharks, tunas and bill fishes are trasboundary International resources in the Indian Ocean targeted by 30 countries and the IOTC having already declared the Tuna resources optimally fished, there are obvious limits to the size of fleet that can be sustained. Recommendations………contd
  45. 45. DEEPSEA FISHING……………Contd • All Indian states also have ambitious plans for developing their own deep sea fleet. • Poaching by foreign vessels and the operation of industrial scale vessels under the LOP scheme also limit what is available for a new fleet. • Skill, aptitude and willingness to stay at sea for weeks together make deep sea fishing suitable only for those fishermen who possess all these attributes.
  46. 46. DEEPSEA FISHING……………Contd • Given that the Thoothoor fleet of 500 boats, which has the entire west coast of India for its arena, seems to have hit a ceiling, it may not be safe to assume that a larger fleet can be sustained on the east coast of India. • Deep sea fishing needs careful development and should not be seen as an easy solution to the problems of over capacity in coastal waters. • TN also needs to lobby in Delhi for the scrapping of the LOP scheme to protect local interests.
  47. 47. Recommendations………contd CONFLICT RESOLVING • Various mechanisms need to be developed to protect fishing interests in the ongoing competition with other sectors for coastal & marine space and resources • These could include a high level mechanism under the Chief Secretary that monitors and reviews all activities and projects that affect fishing. • Ensuring a proper representation for the fishing community and other fisheries stakeholders in various decision making bodies, notably the SCZMA, State Pollution Control Board, etc., will go a long way in protecting fishing and fishing communities
  48. 48. OVER FISHING • The Scientist for CMFRI have assessed that in Tamil Nadu waters 65% of the commercially important varieties are exposed to overfishing. • Approximately 20% of the resources have been fished at the optimum level • The balance 15% of the resources alone are exposed to very near to optimum level of fishing.
  49. 49. CHANGES IN THE FISHERY •Sustained fishing and environmental changes have lead to decline of certain fishery resources and emergence of different other resource. •Long living, predatory large species with slow growth rate, occupying the top slot in food web and with low fecundity have either dwindled or vanished. Ex: sharks, larger sciaenids, rays, larger perchers, catfish etc. •Conversely smaller, short lived species with faster growth rate and prolific breeding and high fecundity have started emerging as dominant fishery. Example: oil sardine •Owing to constant sweeping of the sea bottom by mechanised trawlers and traditional “thallumadi” (bag net) the benthic fauna have been severely affected and there was no sufficient scope for the proper revival of the bottom fauna. Consequently some of the demersal fishery resources have decline in due course and time •Inappropriate fishing like pair trawling and ring seine operations have lead to reduction in the benefit sharing of the fishery resources, as only a very few fishermen were benefited more and many were deprived of the resource •Absence of top level predators has lead to the proliferation of the prey resources resulting in the increase of commercially less valuable fishery resources like oil sardine.
  50. 50. Remarks •Tamilnadu Fisheries Department may develop linkages with the Research Institutions to make use of the salient findings from the data collected on the fishery biology of different component species of various exploited fishery resources by translating in Tamil for fishermen to enable them to adopt responsible fisheries. •Nearly 80% of the fish production comes from inshore waters, where due to over supply and overexploitation it is becoming more and more uneconomical for the fishing craft to operate. It is very essential to undertake biological resource enhancement activities such as the deployment of artificial reefs and sea ranching of commercially important species.
  51. 51. Captive breeding of endangered species such as the sea cucumbers, dugong, soft and hard corals, sea horses, pipe fishes etc. may be attempted to improve the population size with an aim to remove them from Schedule I. Eco-Tourism: An excellent artificial reef habitat may be established near Chennai by introducing different marine living resources with special reference to corals and ornamental fishes for popularising the eco-tourism. This can be used by students for education, tourists for snorkeling, SCUBA diving, sport fishing with angles (hooks & line), trap fishing for live ornamental fishes, underwater sight seeing with the help of glass-bottom boats etc. Palk Bay with uniform shallow water mass well protected from cyclone and tsunami, with limited shipping channel/corridor may be promoted as “MARICULTURE PARK” and this should aim at reducing the prevailing higher fishing pressure as an alternative livelihood for the fishermen. Tamilnadu Government’s proposal for a marine water leasing policy will open a vast avenue for mariculture and the available mariculture technologies should be provided as bankable projects for the endusers.
  52. 52. Therefore, our present responsibility is that we are at a junxture to make a vital decisions on how “our fishery resources” and “our livelihoods” should be made use of and managed.