Inland fisheries and aquaculture constitute the main components of the fisheries sector in India from production point of view. Aquaculture is practiced in both fresh and brackish waters. Ornamental fish farming although a non-food activity also has a promising future and is likely to contribute to the overall growth of the fisheries sector in the coming years. The freshwater aquaculture has emerged as a major contributor overtaking the other sub-sectors in fish production. The inland fishery has grown in absolute terms, but the development in terms of its potential is yet to be realized as the sector is extremely diverse and dynamic. The inland resources are in the form of rivers and canals, floodplain lakes, ponds and tanks, reservoirs and brackish water resources offer great opportunities for livelihood development. The public and private investments were minimal for developing it as an instrument of growth in preceding years.
The country has an estimated 1.2 million hectare (mha) of floodplain lakes and wetlands where fish and fisheries remain a traditional economic activity with tremendous socio-economic impact in the rural sector. The cold-water fisheries resources comprise rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs with a combined riverine length of 8253 km and 41 600 ha of sprawling lakes and reservoirs. Besides, there are vast sheets of inland saline water bodies lying unexploited in different States of the country, mainly in northern and central India.
The Inland fishery sector plays a great role in nutritional security and employment potential. Inland Aquaculture have grown in absolute terms, the development in terms of its potential is yet to be realised. The vast and varied resources, that are 2.36 million ha of ponds and tanks and 1.24 million ha of brackishwater resources offer great opportunities for livelihood development. The sector is also an important source of ancillary jobs for rural population, especially in marketing, retailing, transportation etc. However, the sector remains largely un-organised even today mainly due to scattered and diffused nature of activities.
The freshwater culture resources in the country comprise 2.36 mha of ponds and tanks. The other resources where fish farming can be undertaken include the floodplains lakes and other natural lakes, reservoirs, irrigation canals and paddy fields. India is basically a carp country with more than 75 percent of the production being contributed by carps alone. The other significant contributor in recent is Pangasius species. India is now the third largest producer of Pangasius in the world after Vietnam and Thailand.
Since the early eighties, development of brackish water fish culture has gained prominence. About 1.2 mha has been estimated as amenable for brackish water aquaculture in the coastal areas of the country. Besides tiger shrimp (Penaeusmonodon), the exotic white leg shrimp (Littopenaeusvannamei) is also becoming a popular species. Farmed shrimps contribute a sizeable percentage to the total exports from the country.
Considering this, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DADF), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) formulated Vision-2022 for has formulated various Action Plans for focused attention on the identified activities for production enhancement and achieving the targets of Blue Revolution.
Mission Re-circulatory Aquaculture System (RAS)
The future development of aquaculture depends on the adoption of the new and innovative production technologies. Ministry is striving to achieve the national goal on “Blue revolution” by adopting need based technologies to harness the untapped potential throughout the country. Introduction of Re-circulatory Aquaculture System (RAS) techniques can contribute to achieve the desired objective of intensification of culture practices set under Integrated National Fisheries Action Plan.
Considering relevant factors and scope, following States are identified for focussed attention to ensure visible impact of this activity.
1) Assam, 2) Bihar, 3) Chhattisgarh, 4) Haryana, 5) Madhya Pradesh, 6) Maharashtra, 7) Odisha, 8) Punjab, 9) Rajasthan, 10) Tamil Nadu, 11) Telangana, 12) Uttar Pradesh, 13) West Bengal.
Stocking of quality fish seed in adequate quantity is basic need for any aquaculture system. The lack of fingerlings of suitable size in adequate quantities is the most important limiting factor, compelling farmers to stock ponds with spawn or fry instead of fingerlings. The new improved strain of some culture fishes like Rohu and Tilapia could have enormous benefits if adequate fish seed is available. This would enable production and fast-growing, High-yielding, low-cost fish species which are more adapted to the needs of India’s aquaculture eco-system.
The survival rate of Fingerlings is always higher in grow out ponds as they are less susceptible for predation, less vulnerable to the disease and more tolerant to environmental fluctuations. This leads to higher production and productivity due to better growth rate because unhealthy juveniles perish during nursery rearing. Advanced fingerlings take less time to reach marketable size, ideal for multiple stocking and harvesting. Ranching of advance fish fingerling in natural environment gives better performance. Rearing of advance fingerling adopted by the farmers with assurance of low mortality and compensatory growth during the grow-out phase fetches better economical returns. The subsequent growth of the advance fingerlings up to marketable size is definitely rapid.
The following states have been identified as potential States for promotion of Mission Fingerling
1) Andhra Pradesh 2) Assam, 3) Bihar, 4) Chhattisgarh, 5) Gujarat 6) Himachal Pradesh 7) Jammu and Kashmir 8) Jharkhand 9) Karnataka 10) Madhya Pradesh, 11) Maharashtra, 12) Odisha, 13) Rajasthan, 14) Sikkim 15) Tripura 16) Tamil Nadu, 17) Telangana,
18) Uttar Pradesh, 19 ) Uttarakhand20) West Bengal.
Coldwater Fisheries occupy an important resource for the people residing in the uplands of India. India has significant resources in terms of upland rivers/streams, high and low altitudes of natural lakes in addition to man-made reservoirs existing both in Himalayan regions and Western Ghats. There are 16 big and small rivers in Himalayan and peninsular regions having an area of about 3885 km. Apart from these rivers, area of natural lakes is 20500 hectares. The man made reservoirs are spread over an area of 26500 hectares. The Coldwater Fisheries sector in India is small but vibrant with potential for growth. Thrust areashave been identified for holistic development of all segments for enhancing Coldwater Fisheries production through cluster-based farming as well as conservation of natural resources.The Vision is to develop Coldwater Fisheries in a big way by adopting new and innovative production technologies, management and utilization of less utilized water resources and with proper market set-ups.
This Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DADF) has plans for enhancement and strengthening of Coldwater Fisheries as one of the promising sector. Therefore Mission Coldwater Fisheries Development Action Plan-2022 has been formulated to conserve and enhance Coldwater Fisheries in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner and to promote fish farming in hill region. Mission Coldwater Fisheries Development Action Plan is expected to enhance the food and employment security of rural and urban areas of Coldwater regions. Accordingly Action Plan for five Coldwater States like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have formulated to enhance fish production in the hill states.
Inland Fisheries- Transformative idea
- Potential of transformation:
- Efficient utilization of existing water resources.
- Increase in fish productivity and fish production
- Increased supply of protein rich food at reasonable prices to consumers.
- Developing post-harvest facilities and reduction in spoilage.
- Gap Analysis:
- Present productivity is about 3 tons/ha water area. It can be enhanced to 6 tons/ha in first phase
- Present availability of fish is about 7 kg per capitaper year while recommended quantity is 9+ kg per capita per year
- Present spoilage rate is about 20% which can be reduced to less than 10%
- About 60% of the existing resources are used for fish culture. Increased area coverage will be under culture fisheries.
- Transforming present traditional fisheries to technology based fisheries.
- Fish farmers in rural areas
- Fish co-operatives in rural areas
- Retailers/traders/supply chain participants
- Implementation Strategy:
- Coverage of existing water bodies under culture based Fisheries
- Increased production and supply of quality inputs
- Establishment of post-harvest (cold-chain) facilities
- Capital inflow from private investors
- Adoption of technology
- Fish seeds (fingerlings) production
- Fish feed mills
- Technology based culture practices
- Re-circulatory Aquaculture system
- Shrimp farming in saline/alkaline soil
- Improvement in post-harvest facilities (transport/ice plant/colds-store)
- Strengthening/capacity building of farmers and extension machinery
- GoI schemes (Blue Revolution, FIDF, RKVY, MNREGA)
- State governments (state matching share under Blue Revolution, State plan schemes)
- Private entrepreneurs
- GoI and state government run projects including externally funded projects
- Increase in farmers’ income
- Reduction in mal-nutrition/undernutrition
- Better resource utilization and improved water quality