A fishing dock in Maharashtra, India. Source: Appaiah/wikipedia
A fishing dock in Maharashtra, India. Source: Appaiah/wikipedia

NEW DELHI: Government today approved an integrated scheme with an outlay of Rs 3,000 crore for the development and management of fisheries sector as it seeks to bring ‘blue revolution’ in the country.

The central scheme will benefit the entire fisheries sector covering about 14.50 million fishers. It will be implemented in all the states and the union territories.

It would mainly focus on increasing production and productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources, both inland and marine. It seeks to boost private investment as well.

“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for implementation of an umbrella scheme for integrated development and management of fisheries at an outlay of Rs 3,000 crore for a period of five years,” an official statement said.

The scheme would cover development and management of inland fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries including deep sea fishing, mariculture and all activities undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) towards realising ‘Blue Revolution’, it added.

The scheme aims at a focused and integrated approach for development and management of fisheries and aquaculture sector to ensure a sustained annual growth rate of 6-8 per cent as against an overall annual growth rate of about 4 per cent in the 11th Five Year Plan period.

“The scheme would benefit the entire fisheries sector covering about 14.50 million fishers,” it said, adding the programme would also benefit other stakeholders such as fish farmers, fisheries entrepreneurs, fish retailers, wholesalers, fish processors, fish exports and women groups.

Besides the increase in fish production, the scheme would stimulate growth of the subsidiary and allied industries and growth of other related economic activities, especially in the coastal regions, leading to many direct and indirect benefits to the entire fisheries sector.

The scheme has 6 broad components: National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities; Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture; Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post Harvest Operations; Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector; Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector and; Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based interventions.

The components of the scheme would be implemented by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF) with 100 per cent central funding.

The scheme has suitable linkages and convergence with the ‘Sagarmala Project’ of Shipping Ministry, MGNAREGA, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and National Rural Livelihoods Mission ( NRLM) etc.

Fish production in the country has increased from 7.5 lakh tonnes in 1950-51 to 100.70 lakh tonnes during 2014-15, while the export earnings from the sector registered at Rs 33,441 crore in 2014-15, the statement said.

Constituting about 6.30 per cent of the global fish production and 5 per cent of global trade, India today has attained the status of the second largest fish producing and second largest aquaculture nation in the world, it added.