- World Fisheries Day (WFD) is observed on the 21st November every year.
- The award ceremony was organised by the ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, in Bhubaneswar on the occasion of WFD.
- Balasore district (Odisha) has been awarded India’s “Best Marine District”.
- WFD is celebrated to demonstrate solidarity with all fisherfolk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders throughout the world.
- It was started in the year 1997 when “World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers” met at New Delhi leading to formation of “World Fisheries Forum” with representatives from 18 countries and signed a declaration advocating for a global mandate of sustainable fishing practices and policies.
- It is aimed at drawing attention to overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of marine and inland resources.
- Fishing is the capture of aquatic organisms in marine, coastal and inland areas.
- Marine and inland fisheries, together with aquaculture, provide food, nutrition and a source of income to around 820 million people around the world, from harvesting, processing, marketing and distribution. For many it also forms part of their traditional cultural identity.
- One of the greatest threats to the sustainability of global fishery resources is illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
- In 2019-20, with an overall production of 142 lakh tons, India produced 8% of the global share.
- During the same time period, India’s fisheries exports stood at Rs 46,662 crore, constituting about 18% of India’s agricultural exports.
- India aims to achieve a target of producing 22 million metric tonnes of fish by 2024-25.
- The fisheries sector has witnessed three major transformations in the last few years:
- The growth of inland aquaculture, specifically freshwater aquaculture.
- The mechanization of capture fisheries.
- The successful commencement of brackish water shrimp aquaculture.
- As compared to last year there has been a 34% increase in the budget for the fisheries sector in 2021-22.
- India is the second major producer of fish through aquaculture in the world.
- India is the 4th largest exporter of fish in the world as it contributes 7.7% to the global fish production.
- Currently, this sector provides livelihood to more than 2.8 crore people within the country. Nevertheless, this is a sector with untapped potential.
- The Economic Survey of India, 2019-20 estimated that, only 58% of the country’s inland potential has been tapped so far.
- Despite challenges pertaining to infrastructure, the measures by the Central government in the past six years ensured that the fisheries sector continued to register an annual growth rate of more than 10 %.
- States need to be inspired by each other and explore options to grow in the marine sector.
- There is a need to come up with environment friendly fishing and also look for sustaining the sector while continuing the consumption.
- India needs to develop more scientifically its fishing system and other related aspects such as freezing, packaging, etc.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT