Globally, the fisheries industry is $410 billion, employing approximately 60 million people. The present scale and certain extractive practices like bottom trawling, use of underwater explosives, etc., have led to the depletion of the marine ecosystem. Pollution and overfishing have rendered many water bodies unsuitable for fisheries. Wild fish stocks have come down dramatically—so much so in 2020, the Polynesian island of Palau banned sea fishing to protect the marine ecosystem.
Till the year 2000, marine fishing dominated India’s total fish production. Since then, inland aquaculture has made rapid strides. Today, it accounts for 57% of India’s domestic production and 68% of exports. On the other hand, marine fishing in India has stagnated. Apart from being constrained by the lack of modern fishing harbours, poor management of onshore infrastructure and questionable hygiene and sanitation, there are other problems—the lack of investment in marine fishing vessels makes the outlook bleak.
This opinion piece on Cage culture in the New Indian Express written by Mr. Asit Tripathi, Rtd.-IAS, Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister & Chairman Western Odisha Development Council, Odisha and Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Odisha.