India’s marine fish catch fell 9% in 2018: CMFRI

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Fish displayed at a supermarket in the Thai capital of Bangkok. Photo/IAC

Marine fish catch in India during 2018 dropped by 9 per cent due to a sharp decline in oil sardine catch, state-run Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) announced last week. The annual fish landing data released by the institute reveals that the catch of oil sardine from Indian coasts suffered a decline of 54 per cent as the fish fell down to 9th position from the first spot among the catch.

The total marine fish production in 2018 was recorded at 3.49 million tonnes, which is lower by 3.47 lakh tonnes as compared to the previous year, mainly due to reduced catch in West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

The catch of sardine dropped to 1.55 lakh tonne all over India from 3.37 lakh tonne in 2017, Financial Express reported citing a CMFRI source.

The data shows that Indian mackerel (2.84 lakh tonne) was the most landed marine fish in the country during the year, followed by cephalopods (2.21 lakh tonne), non-penaeid prawns (1.94 lakh tonne), ribbon fish (1.94 lakh tonne) and penaeid prawns (1.84 lakh tonne).

Among the nine maritime states, Gujarat remained in the first position in the landings with 7.80 lakh tonne, followed by Tamil Nadu (7.02 lakh tonne) and Kerala (6.43 lakh tonne). Unusually huge catch of red-toothed trigger fish — about 72,000 tonne — was another highlight of the estimates, with Karnataka recording high landings of this species,” sources added.

In Kerala, the oil sardine catch fell to 77,093 tonne from 1.27 lakh tonne in 2017 with a decline of 39 per cent. However, the state registered a 10 per cent increase with 6.42 lakh tonne in total landings as compared to the previous year with all other major resources except oil sardine recording increased catch.

The estimate of the value of marine fish landings based on price at landing centres across the country during 2018 was Rs 52,632 crore, with 0.4 per cent increase over 2017. The average price per kg of fish at landing centre rate was Rs 152, which shows an increase of 11.1 per cent over the previous year. At retail level, the estimated value of marine fish was Rs.80,320 crore, an increase of 2.4 per cent.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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