Fisheries is the major industry in the country and is considered the second country in the world practicing aquaculture and third in fisheries. In accordance with the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, fish production dramatically increased during 1950-1951 and 2018-2019.
The total fish production in the country during 2017-2018 was 12.59 million metric tons, contributing 8.90 million metric tons from the inland sector and 3.69 million metric tons from the marine sector. On average, during that period of time, fish production was 10.14%, which was an increased number compared to the previous years. In the 1950-1951s, inland fish production was 29% and has become 71% during 2017-2018.
Read more: Handbook on Fisheries Statistics 2018
In India, freshwater aquaculture’s main species are carp, and shrimp contributes mostly to the brackish water sector. The three major carps in India, i.e, catla, rohu labeo, and mrigal carp contribute more than 90% of the total Indian aquaculture production. Among the catfish, Philippine catfish, stinging catfish are those species that are being bred in swamps and derelict water bodies. In brackish aquaculture, besides shrimps, giant tiger prawns are also kept for commercial purposes. Other aquatic species that are used in aquaculture but not common are finfish and shellfish species. The green mussel, Indian brown mussel, Indian backwater oyster, and Japanese pearl oyster are the major species that are farmed in seawater.
Export and import of seafood products are also common in India. For instance, during 2012-2013, “marine products exports reached an all-time high of Rs 18 856 crores” (1 INR = USD 0.016). “Exports aggregated to 928 215 tonnes valued at Rs. 18 856.26 crores and USD 3 511.67 million. Compared to the previous year, seafood exports recorded a growth of 7.68% in quantity, 13.61% in rupee, and 0.1% growth in USD earnings, respectively. During 2012–2013, frozen shrimp from the culture sector continued to be the major export value item accounting for a share of 51.35 percent of the total US$ earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 20.88%, 18.73%, and 3.56% in quantity, rupee value, and USD value, respectively. There was a steep drop in unit value realization of frozen shrimp at 14.33%.”
The main buyer of Indian marine products is still Southeast Asia with a share of 23.12%, followed by the European Union (22.14%), the United States (21.29%), Japan (10.61%), China (7.67%), Middle East (5.96%), and others (9.22%).