KOCHI: The estimates of marine fish landings (MFL) in 2013 released by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi, recorded a fall of 4 per cent from 2012. In 2013, 3.78 million tonnes were recorded against 3.94 million tonnes in 2012, which was an all-time high.
Gujarat topped in the MFL with 7.1 lakh tonnes followed by Tamil Nadu with 6.88 lakh tonnes and Kerala with 6.71 lakh tonnes. Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadeep were not included in the records.
The state witnessed a fall in its major resource - oil sardine - this year. The other major contributors were threadfin breams, cephalopods, stolephorus, Indian mackerel and scads.
The other states which contributed to the MFL were West Bengal (2.62 lakh tonnes), Odisha (1.24 lakh tonnes), Andhra Pradesh (2.66 lakh tonnes), Puducherry (0.69 lakh tonnes), Karnataka (4.37 lakh tonnes), Goa (1.04 lakh tonnes), Maharashtra (3.64 lakh tonnes), and Daman and Diu (0.79 lakh tonnes).
CMFRI director A Gopalakrishnan, pointed out that the overall production of the MFL indicated that there is no immediate threat to the fisheries sector.
But state-wise data show some interesting results. “Kerala can be cited as an example where the dip in catch is due to reduction in the most dominant resource of Indian oil sardine. But there is no reduction in the catch per boat involved in fishing. Thus we can infer that the reduction in catch is due to less number of fishing days in the state,” he said.
The reduction in fishing days is due to inclement weather and rough seas.
“A reduction in resource in a particular year is not a reason for panic. We plan to make use of all resources from the sea as fish meal plants want raw material for their production,” he said.
Although the catch is sligtly low, there is a concerted effort to search for smaller and juvenile fishes to fulfil the demand of fish meal units.
“An indiscriminate use of resources will sometimes result in an unsustainable fishing which can lead to collapse of marine fishery resources in the long run.
But CMFRI has recommended legal mesh sizes for respective fishing gears which can be enforced for reducing fishing of juveniles,” he said.