KOCHI: Indicating the impact of warming up of coastal waters because of El Nino weather pattern, the country recorded a 54 per cent decline in the oil sardine catch in 2018. The annual marine fish landing data, released by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) here on Friday, revealed a 39 per cent decline in the catch of Kerala’s staple oil sardines in the state.
While oil sardines dropped from the first spot to ninth position in marine fish landing recorded at 1,625 harbours across the country, Indian mackerel got the status of the most landed marine fish in the country recording a total catch of 2.84 tonnes in 2018. The total marine fish production in 2018 stood at 3.49 million tonnes recording a drop of 3.47 lakh tonnes (9 per cent) compared to the previous year’s catch of 3.83 million tonnes. The drop in fish landing has been attributed to the reduced catch in West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra with a drop of 2.01 lakh tonnes, 95,000 tonnes and 86,000 tonnes, respectively.
“There has been an increase in the landing of anchovy, threadfin bream and shrimp, while there is a marked increase in the presence of red-toothed triggerfish known as Odonus niger on the western coast. The CMFRI is studying the reasons for the increased presence of Odonus niger in the Arabian Sea and the decline in population of certain other species,” CMFRI director A Gopalakrishnan told reporters.
Among the nine maritime states, Gujarat remained in the first position with 7.80 lakh tonnes of fish landing followed by Tamil Nadu (7.02 lakh tonnes) and Kerala (6.43 lakh tonnes). The country recorded a huge catch 72,000 tonnes of red-toothed triggerfish, with Karnataka recording high landing of this species.
In Kerala, the oil sardine catch fell to 77,093 tonnes from 1.27 lakh tonnes in 2017.
The state registered a 10% increase in total fish landing with 6.42 lakh tonnes in 2018 compared to 2017
Ernakulam contributed 25 per cent of the state landing while Munambam remained the most contributing fishing harbour in the state