India among top five fish-exporting nations in world: report

Accounts for 16% of inland, 5% marine fish production

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Total marine production during 2021-22 is 412.7 million tons, making India the third-largest fish and aquaculture-producing country. Map MPEDA

The fifteenth edition of the handbook of fisheries statistics 2022, launched by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in November 2022, covers the latest data for the financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22 and contains significant information related to the fisheries sector. 

The handbook also provides information about the latest developments, improvements, and knowledge about different initiatives in the sector.

Fisheries and aquaculture are known sources of food, nutrition, income, and livelihood for millions of people. Fish is an affordable and good source of animal protein, and is a good option to reduce malnutrition. 

According to the handbook, India is the third-largest fish and aquaculture-producing country and accounts for about 16% of total inland and 5% of total global marine fish production. In 2021-22, India’s total marine and inland fish production stood at 1624.8 million tons, which includes 1212.1 million tons and 412.7 million tons from the inland and marine sectors.

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Total inland fish production in India in 2021-22 is 1212.1 million tons. Map MPEDA

The fisheries sector plays a crucial role in the national economy and is a contributor to foreign exchange earnings. Fish production in India has increased from 565.6 million tons in 2000-01 to 1624.8 million tons in 2021-22. Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Odisha, and Gujarat are the five major fish-producing states in India. 

India is also among the top five fish-exporting nations in the world – selling to 123 countries. The country exported 1.36 million MT of seafood worth US$ 7.76 billion in 2022 — an all-time high and a 30% increase over the previous year, the report says. 

Fish catchers’ activities include marketing fresh and frozen fish, curing, canning, reduction, and other processes. Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Odisha have the highest number of fish catchers in 2020-21, MPEDA said in the report.

Fishermen are insured by group accident insurance and financial schemes.  Skill development training programs for fishermen have also been made available by the Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical & Engineering Training (CIFNET). 

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