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Add To Calendar 29/04/2016 15:30:0029/04/2016 15:50:00Africa/JohannesburgAsian-Pacific Aquaculture 2016PRESENT STATUS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS OF AQUACULTURE IN INDIA WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA   Crystal 5The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Vaishali Joshi*
Mumbai, India.

In India, aquaculture mainly inland aquaculture has emerged as a fast-growing industry and a viable alternative to the declining capture fisheries. India is a major producer of fish through aquaculture and ranks second in the world after China. The present paper is an attempt to assess Indian aquaculture with respect to its resource base, output trends, systems and activities, investment needs, and future prospects. The study is largely based on existing literature.

The inland culture fishery sector in India has seen quantum growth over the last few decades from 0.67 MMT in 1970-71 to 3.4 MMT in 2013-2014. The national growth rate in fish production was 6%. However, this growth has not been uniform and the state of Maharashtra on the west coast of India has actually posted a negative growth. Moreover, Indian major carps alone contribute to more than 80% of the inland aquaculture production in the state.

Maharashtra, the third largest state in the country in terms of area and population, with a coastline of 720 km and continental shelf area of over 110,000 sq. km, offers rich resources for marine fish production. Maharashtra has about 80,000 ha of brackish water area out of which approximately 12,000 ha is suitable for brackish water culture. Of this only 1,056 ha area is developed. This area is under shrimp farming. Finfish farming in brackish waters and cage culture of finfish in coastal waters are yet to take off as the commercial viability is yet to demonstrated.

The abundance of natural resources in the region make it ideally suited for development and expansion of the aquaculture industry. The key socio -economic issues hampering the development of aquaculture in the state have been identified as improper policy and governance, social unacceptance and lack of institutional credit. On technology front, access to basic infrastructure, grow out technology issues, processing and distribution channel issues can be highlighted.

An obsolete and despotic governance by the state bureaucracy coupled with the other impediments like access to modern technology, skilled manpower, absence of a organised fish feed manufacturing industry has denied any meaningful development of the industry. Farmers have to depend on the other regions for basic like seed and feed leading low productivity, higher cost of production rendering the industry economically less viable.

To overcome these major constraints in the development of aquaculture in the region, a favourable governance policy encouraging the development of the sector is essential. Furthermore, availability of credit for the small and medium size farmers is also necessary as funds availability has been one of the high entry barriers. Technological development is quintessential for improving the risk profile of the industry in the region which in-turn should lead to easing of credit flow into the sector. A holistic approach encompassing infrastructure development from hatcheries to processing is required. A series of inputs with technology transfer and skill upgradation, accessibility to institutional credit, introduction to polyculture and multiple species could be a way forward for achieving the aquaculture development in the region.

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