In this article, You will read Blue Revolution in India – for UPSC IAS.
- Blue Revolution means the adoption of a package programme to increase the production of fish and marine products.
- The objective of the blue revolution:
- To increase the overall fish production in a responsible and sustainable manner for economic prosperity
- To modernize the fisheries with a special focus on new technologies
- To ensure food and nutritional security
- To generate employment and export earnings
- To ensure inclusive development and empower fishers and aquaculture farmers
- Blue Revolution was launched in India during the seventh Five-year plan (1985-1990) when the Central Government sponsored the Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA). Subsequently, the Brackish Water Fish Farms Development Agency was set up to develop aquaculture.
- The Blue Revolution has brought improvement in aquaculture by adopting new techniques of fish breeding, fish marketing, and fish export. Under the Blue Revolution programme, there had been a tremendous increase in the production of shrimp. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have developed shrimp in a big way. The Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh is known as the “shrimp capital of India”.
- There are more than 1800 species of fish found in the sea and inland waters of India of which a very few are commercially important.
- The important sea fish species include catfish, herring, mackerels, perches, mullets, Indian salmon, shellfish, eels, anchovies, and dorab. Similarly, the main freshwater fish includes catfish, loaches, eels, herrings, feather backs, mullets, carps, prawns, murrels, and anchovies.
- The geographic, base of Indian marine fisheries has 8118 km coastline, 2.02 million sq of Exclusive Economic Zone including 0.5 million sq km of the continental shelf, and 3937 fishing villages.
- There are 189 traditional fish landing centres, 59 minor fishing harbours, which serve as bases for about 2,80,000 fishing craft consisting of 1, 81,000 non – motorised traditional craft and 54.000 mechanized boats.
- About 65 percent (2018-19) of the country’s total fish production comes from inland fisheries including freshwater fisheries like ponds, tanks, canals, rivers, reservoirs, and freshwater lakes.
- Marine fisheries contribute about 35 percent (2018-19) of the total fish production of the country. Kerala is the leading producer followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Goa. The fishing season extends from September to March. The higher fish production in the Arabian Sea is due to the broader continental shelf. The important fish varieties include sardines, mackerel, and prawn.
- At the present share of Inland fish production in India’s total fish, production is more than marine since 1991.
- The East Coast contributes about 28 percent of the total production of marine fish in the country. The fishing activity along the East coast is mainly carried on from Rameswaram in the south to Ganjam in the north, with the fishing season from September to April along the Coromandal Coast.
- The National Fisheries Development Board has been set up to realize the untapped potential of the fishery sector with the application of modern tools of research and development including biotechnology.
Strategies for the Fisheries Development
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has established eight fisheries research institutes. These institutes are developing strategies for the exploitation of various aquatic resources.
- Refrigeration and cold storage facilities have been provided in Chennai, Cuddalore, Kochi, Kollam, Kozhikode. Mumbai, Pune, Ratnagiri, and Thiruvananthapuram.
- Training centres for fishermen have been established at Satpati (Maharashtra), Veraval (Saurashtra), and Kojan and Tutukandi (Tamil Nadu).
- Fishing farm docks have been established at Cuddalore, Royapuram (Tamil Nadu), Kandla, veraval (Gujarat), vijinjam (Kerala), and Port Blair.
- Various programmes have been launched by the government for the development of inland fisheries over five hundred fish farms have been established by the central government in collaboration with the state governments.
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has established 4212 district-level Fish Farms in different parts of the country with due emphasis on development.
- Village Panchayats have been authorized to carry out fisheries development programmes in respective villages.
- Under the programme of Development of Model Fishermen Villages, basic civic amenities such as housing, drinking water and construction of community halls for fishermen villages are provided.
- Brackish Fish Farmers Development Agencies (BFDA) functioning in the coastal areas of the country are providing a package of technical, financial, and extension support to shrimp farmers.
- Insurance facilities have been extended to fishermen for the insurance and security of their life.
- The government is collecting data on the microclimates of various water bodies to promote fisheries in the country.
- Development of Fishing Harbours: Six majors fishing harbours (Cochin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Roychowk, Paradwip, and Mumbai), 62 minor fishing harbours, and various fish landing centres have been constructed in various coastal states.
Recent Steps Taken By the Government
Blue Revolution 2.0/ Neel Kranti Mission
- The focus of the Blue Revolution 2.0 is on development and management of fisheries. This covers inland fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries including deep sea fishing, mariculture and all activities undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board.
- The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) was established in 2006 as an autonomous organization under the administrative control of the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, to enhance fish production and productivity in the country and to coordinate fishery development in an integrated and holistic manner.
- Now, the Board works under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
- It aims to achieve economic prosperity of fishers and fish farmers. The same will be done by developing fisheries in a sustainable manner keeping in view biosecurity and environmental concerns.
- The Program has certain objectives which includes:
- Fully tapping the total fish potential of the country, both in the inland and the marine sector and triple production by 2020.
- Transforming the fisheries sector as a modern industry with special focus on new technologies and processes.
- Doubling the income of fishers and fish farmers with special focus on increasing productivity and better post harvest marketing infrastructure including e-commerce and other technologies and global best innovations.
- Ensuring inclusive participation of fishers and fish farmers in the income enhancement.
- Tripling export earnings by 2020 with focus on benefits flow to fishers and fish farmers.
- Enhancing food and nutritional security of the country.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
- The Scheme is aimed to turn India into a hotspot for fish and aquatic products through appropriate policy, marketing and infrastructure support.
- With the Scheme, the government intends to bring all fishermen under the ambit of farmer welfare programmes and social security schemes.
- Through this scheme, the Department of Fisheries will establish a robust fisheries management framework. This will address a critical gap in the value chain including infrastructure modernisation, traceability, production, productivity, post harvest management and quality control.
- The government has allocated 804.75 crore rupees for the fisheries sector in the current fiscal.
- It’s aim is to augment fish production to achieve its target of 15 million tonnes by 2020 under the Blue Revolution and raise it thereafter to about 20 million tonnes by 2022-23.
Initiative Taken under the MGNREGA
- The government under the MGNREGA has started to develop the farm ponds, where pisciculture is taking place.
Problems And Prospects
- Despite tremendous success in the development of fisheries in the country during the last four decades, pisciculture is facing a number of problems.
- Most of the fishermen are poor. They are not able to purchase good equipment to improve the harvest of fish.
- The water bodies (rivers, lakes, ponds, and coastal areas of the seas) are increasingly polluted.
- The area of paddy fields in which fisheries used to be kept is also decreasing under the impact of the fast growth of population, industrialization, and urbanization.
- Adequate information about the environment of water – bodies (ponds, lakes, rivers, and sea) is not available.
- Unpredictable nature of monsoon as a result of which the inland fisheries suffer adversely.
- Problem of marketing, storage, and transportation.
- Inadequacy of research and extension service facilities.
- There is a need for the Pink Revolution (Prawns) in the coastal regions of the country.
- India’s long coastline has the potential of becoming the strength of the economy particularly through the exploitation of the Blue Revolution.
- India can grow to the extent of a 10 trillion dollar economy as against 2.7 trillion dollars today with the help of the Blue Economy.
- India needs to develop more scientifically its fishing system and other related aspects such as freezing, packaging, etc.