• Fisheries sector is a sunrise sector in India. 
  • It has immense economic potential in India that has a coastline of over 8,000 km, an exclusive economic zone of over 2 million square km, and with extensive freshwater bodies stretching the length and breadth of the nation.
  • India is the 3rd largest fish-producing country in the world
  • Contributes 7.93% of global fish production
  • India is the second largest aquaculture fish-producing country in the world.
  • It contributes to around one per cent of the national GDP.
  • It provides livelihoods to more than 2.8 crore fishers and fish- farmers.
  • The country has annual export earnings of over Rs 50,000 crore from the fisheries sector.

Fishery development – government of India’s thrust

  1. The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) was launched by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  2. A dedicated Rs 7,522 crore Fisheries & Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) was created 
  3. Blue Revolution not only boosting the fish production but also infrastructure development in the fisheries sector. 
  4. The fishery cooperative movement in India – ‘Karla Machhimar Cooperative Society’ in Maharashtra.
  5. The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and FISHCOPFED have been assigned to speed up the work.
  6. Kausalyaganga at Bhubaneswar is a recognised fisheries hub in the country where FISHCOPFED has a training centre.
  7. Matsyafed – Kerala
  8. Gujarat Fisheries Central Cooperative Association (GFCCA)

Need for focus.

  • Around 4 million people are economically benefited through primary fishery cooperatives in India.
  • The fishery cooperative sector can provide livelihood security, nutritional security, and social security to the vulnerable groups in our society.
  • The fisheries cooperative sector represents weaker section people who are mostly living below the poverty line.

Way Forward

  • There is an urgent need for the adoption of digital technology by fishery cooperatives to provide their services at the doorstep and play a key role in providing nutritious food to the people.
  • The fishery cooperatives should be supported with funds to develop infrastructures and a progressive supply and value chain for sustainability.
  • The Government of India is committed to uplift the fishery cooperative sector through adequate policy and financial support.
  • There is a need to insure over ten million fishermen under the Group Accident Insurance Scheme (GAIS) within the next 2 to 3 years.
  • Fishery cooperative members should be provided with online awareness training about the PMMSY scheme and Cooperative Principles. 
  • They shall be provided marketing support for a sustainable business plan to excel in domestic marketing.
  • Computerization of a primary fishery cooperative can accelerate the growth of the sector at the micro level.

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