Marine Fisheries Policy in India-
Features & Challenges for
College of Fisheries, Mangalore
•Globally India second – largest producer of fish.
•Fish production 8.29 million tonnes (2010-11)
•Globally second largest in aquaculture.
• Export earnings of fish & fishery products ;
Rs. 12,901 crore by value and
8,13,091 tonnes by volume.
• Growth rate of fisheries sector about 6 % .
Current Status of Fisheries
Traditional Craft 1,07,448
Motorized Craft 76,748
Mechanized Vessels 59,743
Total craft 2,43,939
Fisher population 144,850,00
Marine Fishers 3.52 Million
Marine Fishing Villages 3202
Traditional fish landing centers 1,896
Minor fishing harbors 33
Major fishing harbors 6
India- Fishing Craft,Fisher Population and
Marine Fisheries Scenario
Depleting Marine resources
Over fishing in coastal waters
High Post–harvest losses
Weak presence in the EEZ and high seas
Low levels of investment
Sustainability in production
Mariculture demonstration initiated
COMPREHENSIVE MARINE FISHERIES POLICY
The marine fishing policy announced by the Govt. of
India in the past focused only on the developmental
needs of the deep-sea sector.
Substantial assistance was channelized through Central
and Centrally Sponsored Schemes in to the States/ UT’s
for the development of coastal fisheries.
Non-existence of an integrated policy for this sector was
found to hamper fulfillment of the national objectives.
COMPREHENSIVE MARINE FISHERIES
In the present policy the Government seeks to bring the
traditional and coastal fishermen also in to the focus
together with stakeholders in the deep-sea sector so as to
achieve harmonized development of marine fishery both
in the territorial and EEZ waters of our country.
to augment marine fish production of the country up to
the sustainable level in a responsible manner so as to
boost export of sea food from the country and also to
increase per capita fish protein intake of the masses.
to ensure socio-economic security of the artisanal
fishermen whose livelihood solely depends on this
to ensure sustainable development of marine fisheries
with due concern for ecological integrity and bio–
Marine fisheries resources
Harvesting of marine fish resources
Infrastructure development for marine fisheries
Policy for development of fisheries in the UTs Lakshadweep & AN
MARINE FISHERIES RESOURCES
The policy underscores the need for a departure from the
open access concept in the territorial waters to limited
Envisages incorporation of principles of the Code of
conduct for responsible fisheries.
Putting in place stringent management regimes.
Promoting exploitation in the deep sea and oceanic
waters for reducing fishing pressure in the territorial
HARVESTING OF MARINE FISH
(i) subsistence fishing
(ii) small-scale fishing
(iii) industrial fishing
The policy advocates protection, consideration and encouragement
of subsistence level fishermen and technology transfer to small scale
sector and infrastructure support to industrial sector.
There would be exclusive area in terms of depth and (or) distance
earmarked for non-mechanised (non-motorised) traditional craft.
An area beyond this would be demarcated for mechanised and
To motorize the traditional craft and also providing better material and
technology for their traditional craft.
Envisages motorization of about 50% of traditional craft allowing the
remaining to carry on subsistence fishing in the near shore waters.
The small mechanised sector would be encouraged by providing
incentives for acquisition of multi-day fishing units.
Deep sea vessels would be provided with infrastructure support in terms
of landing and berthing facilities.
Encourage introduction of more resource specific vessels of above 20 m
Joint venture initiatives with specified equity norms for package
proposals involving catching fish from the EEZ for processing at shore
total utilization of harvested fish for food and non-food.
comply with international requirements in post harvest care of catch
so as to achieve highest standards in food safety.
to ensure that the post-harvest losses are minimized.
Packaging and bar coding would be made mandatory for authorised
sale of fish and fish products through registered outlets.
Hygiene in fishing harbour/pre-processing and processing centres
would be streamlined through legislation.
The policy attaches top priority to ensuring the social security and economic
well being of fishers.
Each household would be given a card for easy identification and for
settlement of claims.
Apex bodies of cooperatives of each state would be up- linked to the
Artisanal fisheries deploying OBMs and small-mechanised boats up to 12m
would be treated at par with agriculture while small scale fisheries involving
mechanised boats under 20m OAL would be treated at par with small scale
industries. Fishing vessels above 20 m and fishing activity involving mother
ships or factory vessels would be treated as industrial activity. The
admissibility and extent of concessions for each category would be re-
Programmes to improve safety at sea and also to have an early weather
In order to minimise impact on coastal waters by industrial
effluents, close liaison need to be maintained with Central and State
Pollution Control Board for considering suitable legislation for all
industrial establishments discharging effluents in to the sea.
The Coastal Regulation Zone notification would review the present
zonation of areas keeping in view the topography of each region
and ensure that any human activity in the high tide limit (HTL)
which may cause degradation of the coastal environment would not
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT FOR
The facilities include jetties, landing centres, provision
for fuel, water, ice, repairs to vessels and gear.
Alternatives to the present system of financing of the
infrastructure projects by the centre and the state with
cost sharing would be tried out. Build-Operate-Own and
Build- Operate-Transfer systems through private sector
initiative also would b e explored.
Management of most of the facilities already created
calls for improvements in terms of internal resource
generation, maintenance and upkeep.
Introduction of additional legal instruments in areas such as
operation of Indian flag vessels in the EEZ, introduction of new
fishing units, ensuring conservation of resources, limited access
fishery, fishery harbour management etc.
Endorsing international laws and conventions in the marine
fisheries sector and harmonizing the national laws with the
international ones wherever necessary with active participation in
the regional fisheries management bodies.
Harmonized development of coastal and deep sea sectors
Ensure sustainable development of marine fisheries
Lay down norms for making EEZ a limited access fishery
Evolve procedures for monitoring and control of fishing
Sensitizing the stake holders about the need for Code of
Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF)
MAIN FEATURES OF THE COMPREHENSIVE MARINE FISHING
Main Features of CMFP contd…..
To curb Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU)
To manage fishing capacity to prevent over
capitalization in the sector and over exploitation of
To be responsive to regional and international regimes
in Marine Fisheries Conservation and Management.
Address the requirements of ancillary and
complementary activities such as post harvest care,
CENTRALLY SPONSORED SCHEMES ON
Development of Marine Fisheries
a) Motorization of Traditional Craft
b) Safety of Fishermen at Sea
c) Fishermen Development Rebate on HSD
d) Introduction of Intermediate Craft of improved design
e) Promoting resource specific fishing vessels
CENTRALLY SPONSORED SCHEMES ON MARINE
f) Promoting fuel efficient and environment friendly fishing practices
g) Development of Infrastructure and Post-harvest operations (new
h) Establishment of fishing harbours and Fish Landing Centers
i) Strengthening of Post-Harvest Infrastructure
j) Assistance for dredging of fishing harbours/ fish landing Centers
CENTRALLY SPONSORED SCHEMES ON
MARINE FISHERIES contd….
a) Development of model fisher villages
b) Group accident insurance for active fishermen
c) Saving cum relief
Policy initiatives during 11th
five year plan
Increasing profitability of fishers through an integrated approach from
production to consumption while providing importance to the
safety of fishermen at sea and coastal security issues of the Nation.
Promoting fish as health food
Strengthening of Infrastructure in harvest, post-harvest and
Issuance of Biometric Identity Cards to coastal fishermen to enable
regulation of fishing activities besides facilitating identification of
individual fishers during the distress. The registered fisher’s
strength would facilitate drawing up more focused
Policy initiatives during 11th
five year plan contd…
Registration of fishing vessels along with other
coastal security issues to have a uniform system for
registration of all types of fishing vessels, irrespective
of their size and tonnage.
Considering the need for a unified National fishery
policy, Ministry has now drafted the ‘Marine
Fisheries (Regulation & Management) Bill’, which
will be finalised only after detailed discussions are
undertaken with the representatives of the
The Marine capture fisheries resource development in India has passed
through 3 clear phases since independence. Now it is going through a fourth
phase characterized by declining fish catches, depleted fish stocks,
increasing conflict over fish resources
Regulated fishing and capacity management in mechanized sector.
Diversified fishing in Deep sea & Oceanic resources
Challenges for implementation
The enforcement of Marine Fishing Regulation Act in relation to the
limited manpower available in most of the States including closed
season and gear mesh size.
Deciding the distance in the sea (3 nautical miles, 8 km, 5 km, 23 km &
so on) given the lack of minimum navigational equipment even in
mechanised boats, though some of the states procured patrolling boats
through central schemes, none could effectively use the boats along the
long coast to enforce zone regulations.
Regularization of common property rights and introduction of the
concept of responsible fishing as the marine fisheries sector has enjoyed
free access to the resources, is not prepared to face stringent restrictive
Challenges for implementation contd…
Production vis-à-vis Potential Yield
Potential yield estimates indicate that the annual harvestable
potential yield from Indian EEZ is 3.9 m t. As the production is
approaching the potential yield, the country has reached a stage in
which further increase in production may have to be viewed with
The Fishermen population depending directly on fishing is so very
great in India that there may not be any quick solution to the
problem of overcrowding.
Some other Challenges
• Overcapacity is an issue in capital-intensive mechanised
fishing sector as well as in the employment-oriented
• Inadequate utilization of potential
• Public investment in fisheries inadequate .
• Poor Management Practices.
• Lack of incentives for aquaculture as compared to
agriculture is depriving the public to take up fish