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Rattled by sardine stock crash, India begins regulating its fisheries: Analysis by Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar July 14,2019   |  Source: Mongabay

Last month, the Indian government created its first ministry for fisheries. Although it clubs fishing together rather oddly with animal husbandry and dairy, the move fulfills a long-standing demand of the country’s fishing community and becomes the latest, and potentially the most important, of India’s slowly growing efforts to better regulate and manage its fisheries.

Fishing has transformed over the decades from a small-scale artisanal practice into an increasingly industrialized sector. The widespread adoption of mechanized boats helped hike India’s fish catch from an estimated 0.53 million metric tons in 1950 to 3.83 million metric tons in 2017.

Until recently, this growth was largely unregulated, leading to over-capacity of fishing boats, inter-state conflict, and overfishing of some species. But as yields have slowed in the past decade, including an unexpected crash in the sardine catch, India’s coastal states have begun to take measures to make fishing more sustainable. Some are also pressing for better national regulation.

In recent years, some states have introduced rules to extend the national ban on fishing during the monsoon — the one notable pre-existing policy instituted to let fish spawn as well as improve fishermen’s safety. Some new state


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Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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