Kerala’s landings down by 15%; Oil sardine catch lowest in two decades in state
India’s marine fish production registered a marginal increase of 2.1% in 2019 compared to the previous year with the country recording 3.56 million tonnes in total landings from across the coasts during the year, according to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). A study report on annual marine fish landings estimates in the country during the last year released here by the CMFRI also showed that Tamil Nadu grabbed the first position in the landings with 7.75 lakh tonnes followed by Gujarat (7.49 lakh t), which was holding the first position for a past few years, and Kerala (5.44 lakh t) which retained the third position.
The data showed an unusual feature of a commercially unimportant fish becoming the most landed resource with the red toothed trigger fish (2.74 lakh t) registering a huge increase in the landings across the coasts of the country. Ironically, this fish has little demand in domestic markets and is mostly caught for the purpose of feed mills. In another major highlight of the data, Indian mackerel, which was in the first spot in 2018, suffered the highest setback with its landings declining by 43% during the last year. While the states such as West Bengal (55%), Andhra Pradesh (34%), Odisha (14.5%), Karnataka (11%) and Tamil Nadu (10.4%) recorded increase in the landings, the marine fish catch decreased in Maharashtra (32%), Goa (44%) and Kerala (15.4%) compared to the previous year. The second highest landings in national-level is ribbon fish (2.19 lakh t) followed by penaeid prawns (1.95 lakh t) and non-penaeid prawns (1.80 lakh t).
As many as 8 cyclonic storms in and around India of which 6 of them turned out to be severe cyclones (Fani in April, Vayu in June, Hika in September, Kyarr in October, Maha in Oct-Nov and Bulbul in Oct-Nov) affected the fishing calendar days more adversely on the west coast of the country.
Kerala’s landings down by 15%; sharp decline in oil sardine and Indian mackerel
Kerala suffered a significant drop of 15.4% in the marine fish landings during the last year with a total landings of 5.44 lakh tonnes. Sharp decline in the catch of oil sardine and Indian mackerel, the two major resources in the state, is the major highlight of Kerala’s landings. While oil sardine dropped to a meagre 44,320 tonnes, the lowest catch in two decades, Indian mackerel (40,554 t) experienced a steep decline of 50% compared to the previous year. In 2012, the catch of oil sardine in Kerala was 3.9 lakh tonnes. Since then, there was a substantial decrease in the catch every year, but it moved up in 2017. The oil sardine landings again continued to decline for the past two years thanks to the unfavourable changes in ocean environment. After analysing the correlation between the ocean environment and biological cycle of the oil sardine, the CMFRI had forecasted in January last year that sardine would be declined in the year in Kerala waters. The contribution from Kerala towards the overall landings in the country reduced to 15.3% from 18.4% in 2018.
The anchovies group (74.194 t) tops the list of the most landed resources in the state followed by red toothed trigger fish (62,782 t) and penaeid prawns (46,615 t).
Increase in value of fish
The estimate of the value of marine fish landings based on price at landing centres across the country during 2019 was Rs 60,881 crores with 15.6% increase over 2018. The unit price per kg of fish at landing centre rate was Rs. 170.5 (12.2% increase). At the retail level, the estimated value of marine fish was Rs. 92,356 crores (15% increase over 2018). The unit price at the retail market level was Rs. 258.7 (12% increase over 2018). The marketing efficiency determining the producer’s share of the consumers was found to be 66 (0.6 % increase over 2018).
The estimate of the value of marine fish landings during 2019 at landing centre level was `60,881 crores, (15.7% increase over 2018). The unit price per kg of fish at landing centre was `170.5, (12.2% increase over 2018). At the retail level, the estimated value was `92,356 crores (15.0% increase over 2018). The unit price at the retail market level was `258.7 (11.6% increase over 2018). The marketing efficiency determining the producer’s share of the consumers was found to be 65.9, (0.59 % increase over 2018).