Marine catch in the country has recorded a marginal increase of 6.6% during 2016 compared to the previous year, says a fish landing report released by the state-run Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). However, the catch of sardine continued to show trend of declining since 2013 and for the first time after 1998 it was not the top-ranked species in terms of the catch in the country.
According to CMFRI’s estimates, which was released here on Friday, the total marine fish landings for 2016 is 3.63 million tonnes, with Gujarat remaining at the top position for the fourth consecutive year with the maximum landings in the country, followed by Tamil Nadu. The estimated value of marine fish landings during 2016 at the landing centre level was Rs 48,381 crore, registering an increase of 20.67% compared to 2015. At the retail level, the estimated value was Rs 73,289 crore with an increase of 12.44% over the previous year, CMFRI sources said.
West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra and Daman & Diu witnessed a hike in the marine fish landings, whereas other states registered a fall in the catch in varying degrees. Even as mackerel recorded a sharp decline in Kerala, the national fish was placed at the first spot after a long interval after 1999 with an overall landing of 2.5 lakh tonnes ahead of sardine which recorded 2.44 lakh tonnes landing in 2016.
Kerala, one of the major fish consuming states in the country, slipped down to fourth spot for the first time in the history, behind Karnataka. Sardine, the most favourite and common fish species of the state continued to show a decreasing trend in the landings, recording a mere 0.46 lakh tonnes, which is the lowest catch of the species in the past two decades.
In 2012, the catch of sardine in Kerala was 3.9 lakh tonnes. The catch of mackerel also dropped by 33% in the state compared to 2015. Even as the total landings increased in the state by 8%, Kerala suffered a fall of 18.09% over previous year in the value of fish catch at the retail centres.