Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala on Thursday said the country’s inland fish production has more than doubled in the last nine years to 131 lakh tonnes on the back of government’s initiatives to boost this sector. The minister also highlighted that the Modi government has announced an investment of around Rs 38,000 crore under various programmes in the last nine years.

Addressing a press conference here, Rupala announced that a ‘Global Fisheries Conference India 2023’ is being organised in Ahmedabad from November 21-22 to discuss immense potential as well as challenges in the sector. The deliberation will help in preparing a future roadmap for this sector. The minister said more than 5,000 people are expected to attend this conference from across the world. He informed that embassies of more than 50 countries have been invited along with global organisations like FAO, World Bank and ADB. Stakeholders, including fishers and fish farmers, engaged in this sector are also expected to attend this event. The department of fisheries under this ministry is organising this two-day event. Talking about the achievements in this sector since 2014, Rupala highlighted that the inland fish production has grown to 161 lakh tonnes from 61 lakh tonnes in 2013-14.

India’s total fish output stood at 174 lakh tonnes in 2022-23. India is the third largest fish producer in the world, contributing 8 per cent to total global fish production. Rupala highlighted that the Modi government has provided for around Rs 38,000 crore under different schemes including Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) launched in 2020-21.

He said this is much higher than the cumulative outlay for this sector during 1947-2013 period. The minister said the government is providing credit card and also insurance scheme to fishers. Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying L Murugan said the global conference starts on November 21, which is being celebrated as World Fishery Day.

He said the conference will provide a platform to industry people and also start up companies. According to a senior official from the department, the average growth of the fisheries sector stood at 8.6 per cent in the last 9 years. The sector contributes a little over 1 per cent to the country’s GDP. Indian fisheries and aquaculture provide livelihood and employment to more than 30 million (3 crore) fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and many more along the fisheries value chain. During the 2022-23 fiscal, India exported fish and fish products valued at USD 8.09 billion. A major chunk of the exports comprised frozen shrimp with an export earning of USD 5.48 billion.