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Gujarat tops fish landings in the country followed by Tamil Nadu

Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has announced the total fish landings in the country has increased by 6.6 per cent in 2016 after recording five years of steady decline in marine fish landings, sources in the Cochin based institute said.

According to the CMFRI's estimates, the total fish landing in the country during 2016 weighed a total 3.63 million tonnes compared to the total fish landing of 3.40 million tonnes the previous year.

Gujarat continues to account the most amount fish landings in the country with a total catche of 7.74 lakh tonnes, while Tamil Nadu with 7.07 lakh tonnes came second, followed by Karnataka with 5.29 lakh tonnes.

Though Kerala had observed an 8 per cent increase in total fish catches in the state 2016, they have slipped to 4th place with recorded landing of 5.23 lakh tonnes.

"One of the reasons for the large huge quantity of fish landing in Karnataka, which recorded 19.6 percent increase in fish landings, is the use of light fishing.

CMRFI recorded a significant boost in fish landing in West Bengal with 2.72 lakh tonnes in 2016. In the 2015 West Bengal recorded 1.18 lakh fishes.

Kerala's most common fish species, oil sardine continued to show a decreasing trend in landings. This year, oil sardine recorded a mere 0.46 lakh tonnes which is the lowest in the past two decades.

The reasons for the sharp decline in Oil sardine is attributed to the overfishing that took place in 2011 and 2012. According to CMFRI, the maximum sustainable yield for Oil sardine landing should be around 2.25 lakh tonnes.

But in 2011 and 2012, Oil sardine landing in Kerala exceeded beyond 4 lakh tonnes, which is much beyond the threshold limit.

The marine capture fisheries are experiencing more fishing pressure and there is urgent need to implement control measures to maintain the harvest at a sustainable level. We have to explore the utilisation of untapped and unconventional resources to quench the demand.

Further, climate change, particularly the increase in sea surface temperature and mean sea level rise are factors affecting the marine fisheries. The CMFRI is currently carrying out research works for developing frameworks to mitigate such challenges.

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