Fishing business for sustainable development: Current Scenario in Indo-Asia. Aquatic Fish Database est. 1991

Search Supplier Directory
    Add Your Company
    Update Your Listing
Wholesale Supplier Short List
Fish Fact Sheets

Search Companies Directory
    Add Your Company
    Update Your Listing

Wholesale Seafood Traders
Wholesale Aquaculture Traders
Wholesale Ornamental Fish Traders

Capelin + Imports & Exports
Catfish + Imports & Exports
Crab/Shellfish + Imports & Exports
Fish Meal + Imports & Exports
Fish Oil + Imports & Exports
Groundfish + Imports & Exports
Grouper + Imports & Exports
Lobster + Imports & Exports
Octopus + Imports & Exports
Oyster + Imports & Exports
Salmon + Imports & Exports
Scallop + Imports & Exports
Seabass + Imports & Exports
Shrimp + Imports & Exports
Squid + Imports & Exports
Tilapia + Imports & Exports
Tuna + Imports & Exports

Cod Links
Definitions and Terms
Fish Fact Sheets
Market Prices
Market Reports
Seafood Links
Tilapia Links

About Aquafind
Aquatic Posters
Book Store
Contact AquaFind
Currency Converter
Featured Product Pages
Scientific Aquacultrue Papers
World Clock
Shrimp & Seafood Recipes

Chinese French German Italian Spanish Russian

Custom Search

Bookmark and Share

Fishing Business For Sustainable Development: Current Scenario In Indo-Asia.

Surajit Debnath

ICFAI University, Tripura


Pin:799210, India




Aquaculture and fisheries has proved to be the answer to the growing need to produce nutritive food stuff for the global population. The sustainability of the practice has also been established by numerous works evident in the literature. The present study depicts the post millennium scenario of global aquaculture and fisheries production as well as consumption with an emphasis on the Indo-Asiatic region. The paper reviews the statistics with respect to the revenue earned by this sector and its significance in the recent times.

Key Words:

Aquaculture, Economics, India, Revenue, Sustainability, Production.


The Millennium World Food Summit, 2000 held in New York set an ambitious target of halving the percentage of hungry people by 2015. The WFS overall objective was "... to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing the number of undernourished people to half, no later than 2015". This represented a target goal of 412 million undernourished people; down from 824 million (estimated) in 1996 it self. During the beginning of the new millennium i.e. from 2000 to 2002 it was estimated that 852 million people were undernourished world wide. The global population in the mean time has increased in several folds.

It is relevant to mention that food security is a complex phenomenon that relates more to economic development and poverty than to increasing production per se (FAO, 2005b).The produced food must therefore be available to the people at a reasonable price and legislation must prohibit illegal storage and black marketing etc. So the concern of providing food and nourishment to the exponentially growing global populace is a challenge that should be tackled by the policy makers with a sustainable approach.

Intensive aquaculture practices in this context is seen as an alternative to meet the widening gap in global rising demand and decreasing supply of nutritive food products. It has vast potential in providing livelihood security as well as fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the growing population and becoming an increasingly important food production process.

The strata of Indian problem i.e. from providing food and nutrition to one of the largest population of the world, generation of employment for the youth and socioeconomic development of the villages can be answered partially to an effective extant by means of integrated management practices of natural resources such as intensive aquaculture.

Why Aquaculture?

Meeting the demand for cheap and best animal protein:

About one billion human beings worldwide depend on fish as their primary means of animal protein. Fish contributes around 50% of total animal protein consumed in Indonesia, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia. Aquaculture and fisheries can meet the huge demand for nutritive, value for money food and related products.

Consumption of both high and low value food fish is growing in the developing world and the developed countries as well (FAO, 2005). In 2004, per capita food fish supply was estimated at 13.5 kg. On an average fish provided more than 2.6 billion people with at least 20% of their average per capita animal protein intake. Global consumption of fish per capita in 2005 was at a peak of 16.6 kg per capita. The share of fish protein in total world animal protein supplies grew from 14.9% in 1992 to a peak of 16.0% in 1996. Notwithstanding the relatively low fish consumption by weight in low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) the contribution of fish to total animal protein intake was significant at about 20% and is probably higher than indicated by official statistics in view of the unrecorded contribution of subsistence fisheries (FAO, 2007).

Growing domestic demand within developing nations for fish is driven by good governance n the sector ensuring easy availability and economical pricing of per Kg fish protein. In the rich world fish and related products are increasingly seen as a healthy luxury food due to regular media reports of newer scientific findings about nutritional benefits of fish and related products. Fish products are now actively marketed by mega life style stores in the biggest business districts of the world. In contrast Asia and many other developing countries still serve fish as an important part of the staple diet.

The fish and related food products are generated either by capture fisheries or by culture fisheries (aquaculture).Culture fisheries is more sustainable than of capture fisheries in ecological viewpoint. Aquaculture market is set to witness the growth of about 4% or more in recent times.

Capture fisheries and aquaculture supplied the world with about 106 million tonnes of food fish in 2004, providing an apparent per capita supply of 16.6 kg (live weight equivalent or LWE). Of this total, aquaculture accounted for 43%. In 2005 aquaculture production was at a record 47.5 million tonnes, or 34% of total fish production. If calculated on the basis of fish for human consumption only, aquaculture production constitutes 44.6% of the total. Global aquaculture and fisheries market crossed 67 million tons approximately in 2008. According to reliable media reports Global aquaculture and fisheries market is expected to exceed 123 million tonnes by the end of 2009. An FAO study projects that capture fisheries could produce some 12 million tonnes more by 2015, compared with 2005 levels, and that aquaculture production could reach 66.8 million tonnes by then.

Over the years the magnitude at which fish and related food products are preserved and processed, has also increased in several folds through out the world. This nevertheless is a clear indication of serious business, as the global community is engaging actively in the food fish industry. In 2004, about 75% (105.6 million tonne) of estimated world fish production was used for direct human consumption, and the remaining 25% (34.8 million tonne) was processed into feeds, mostly fishmeal and oil (FAO, 2007), besides 7.3 million tonne discarded. Some 61% (86 million tonne) of the world's fish production (2004 figures) underwent some form of processing, and 59% (51 million tonne) of this processed fish was used for manufacturing products for direct human consumption in frozen, cured and canned form. The rest went for non-food uses. Unlike many other food products, processing fish does not necessarily increase the price of the final product, and fresh fish is often the most highly priced product form. Freezing is the main method of processing fish for food use, accounting for 53% of total processed fish for human consumption in 2004, followed by canning (24%) and curing (23%). In developed countries, the proportion of fish that is frozen has been constantly increasing, and in 2004 accounted for 40% of total production. In comparison, the share of frozen products was 13% of total production in developing countries. Utilization of fish production shows marked continental, regional and national differences. The proportion of cured fish is higher in Africa (17% in 2004) and Asia (11%) compared with other continents. In Europe and North America, more than two-thirds of fish used for human consumption was preserved in frozen and canned forms. All these statistics had an upside move during the next couple of years.

Aquaculture and its Economics

Revenue and ForEx:

During the year 2003 the export value of world trade in fish was US$63 billion which was more than the combined value of net exports of rice, coffee, sugar and tea. Half of global fish trade comes from developing countries, while global consumption increased by 21% between 1992 and 2002. In 2004, total world trade in fish and fishery products reached a record value of US$71.5 billion (export value), representing 23% growth relative to 2000 and 51% increase since 1994. Preliminary estimates for 2005 indicate a further increase in the value of fishery exports. In real terms (adjusted for inflation), exports of fish and fishery products increased by 17.3% during the period 2000 to 2004, 18.2% during 1994 to 2004 and 143.9% between 1984 and 2004. Fish is traded widely, so today it can be said that fish from all corners of the world can be found on the international market. In 2004, about 38% of all fish produced (LWE) was exported as various food and feed products. Developed countries exported some 23 million tonne of fish (LWE) in 2004. Although a part of this trade may be re-exports, this amount corresponds to about 75% of their production. Exports from developing countries (30 million tonne LWE) totaled around one-quarter of their combined production, but, remarkably, the share of developing countries in total fishery exports was 48% by value and 57% by quantity (FAO, 2007). For the developing world, fish exports have become an ever more important source of foreign exchange.

Fish is classified in the world trading system with industrial products, and thus carries very low tariffs compared with agricultural goods. Some 38% (by volume) of all fishery production enters international trade, with over half of that originating in developing countries. The globalization of fisheries and the wide participation by both developed and developing countries in world fish trade is encouraging for the aquaculture communities. (Valdimarsson , 2007) and the explosive growth in this sector over past decades has been accompanied by a boom in international fish trade (FAO. 2005d) (Valdimarsson, et al., 2005).

Generation of Employment and livelihood:

Aquaculture and Fisheries sector over the years has also contributed significantly in employment generation. According to 2007-08 estimates of the World Bank, the livelihood of about 200 million people relies on fisheries, aquaculture and associated activities. Small scale and large scale fish farms were actively involving skilled and non skilled work force. The numbers of small scale or subsistence fisheries has been constantly rising over the last decades through out the world and were estimated to be over 41 million in 2004, including some 11 million fish farmers. Many a times the same individuals are engaged in both (FAO, 2007). The contribution of the small-scale fleet to fish for human consumption may be as high as 50%. However, in industrialized countries the number of individuals engaged in organized or unorganized fishing business was much lower in comparison and estimated to be about 1 million.

Ecological sustainability of aquaculture over capture fisheries:

The huge market for fish and related products also has environmental concerns in addition to economical and social challenges. The plethora of the demand is causing strains regarding trade policies as well as conservation of biodiversity which has exacerbated the need for fisheries management capable of scientific and social innovations and to keep fish catches within sustainable limits. In recent times the global community has emphasized much on sustainable and inclusive development to bring about fundamental changes and growth in all spheres of human life. Although the overall growth in the fisheries sector is very much encouraging, but sustainable aquaculture practices and innovations are therefore a current need of the day. Coastal and inland capture fisheries are putting pressure on fish stocks worldwide (Charles, A.T 2001). Maximum Sustainable Yield, an important concept in aquaculture has been developed to avoid overexploitation of fishing sites. The exploitation pressure if crosses certain threshold will lead to an irreversible damage on the ecosystem. Ecosystems as such cannot be managed, but only the human activities of exploiting them (FAO, 2003a) can be regulated. Over the last two decades, the marine fishery resources of the world have been increasingly subjected to overexploitation (Bodiguel et al, 2009) mainly due to detrimental fishing practices leading to environmental degradation (FAO.2005d). This phenomenon has adversely affected a majority of fisheries worldwide, with very severe consequences in terms of resource destruction due to loss of breeding grounds, massive economic wastage due to sudden fall in the fish catch and increasing social cost as well as food insecurity (FAO.2003b).

Currently, FAO estimates that more than 25% of the all fish stocks on which it has information are over fished, depleted or recovering from depletion, whereas 52% of the stocks are fully fished and only 23% of the stocks could produce more (FAO, 2007). The worldwide wild capture fisheries potential has reached its limit (De Silva et al., 2009) and so the huge demand for aquatic protein will be satisfied by aquaculture. Therefore the farmers and fishers should be encouraged to engage in responsible fishing (France and Exel, 2000) following good fisheries governance (Sinclair et al., 2002). Intensive aquaculture as well as innovative protocols should be developed with a collaboration of all the governments with an integrative approach by combining scientific and technological advancements so that the global biodiversity resources are not exhausted or over exploited.

Aquaculture and fisheries in Asiatic region

Asia, the epicenter of the global aquaculture industry, accounts for over 90% of the global aquaculture production quantity and about 80% of the value. Asia-Pacific region forms the major fisheries and aquaculture market in terms of production. Among the top ten countries where fish plays an important role of animal protein supply, four are African countries and five are from the Asiatic region.

During 2006 the Asia-Pacific region lead production of Aquaculture and Fisheries with an estimated share of about 60% of the global out put, as stated by Global Industry Analysts, Inc a global economics research firm. Asia-Pacific is forecast to maintain leadership position with a CAGR of over 3.3% during 2006-09. Europe and Japan represent the other major regions for Aquaculture and Fisheries. Europe is projected to account for over 19 million tons of aquaculture and fisheries product by the year 2010.

Aquaculture and fisheries in India: The Current scenario

The National Agriculture Policy 2000 of Government of India accorded high priority to increase protein availability in the food basket and generation of exportable surpluses. India being a developing nation, is constantly exploring ideas for an inclusive sustainable development for the people. Fisheries sector plays a very important role in the socio economic development of India. Indian fisheries has made great strides during last five decades with the production levels increasing from 750,000 tonnes of fish in 1950-51 to 6.4 million tons in 2005-2006, of which the contribution from the inland sector is around 3.3 million tons (51.6 % of the total) compared to 3.10 million tons (48.4 %) from the marine sector. India’s contribution to global fish production increased from 3.26 percent in 1985 (Alagarswami, K. 1995) to 4.41 percent in 1997 itself.

The contribution of fisheries to the gross domestic product (GDP) and agriculture GDP has been estimated to be 1.2 and 4.2 %, respectively. India ranks second in world inland fish production, next to China. The growth rate of inland and marine sector at present is 6.6 and 2.2%, respectively. During 2006-07 total fish production of 6.57 million metric tonnes had nearly 55% contribution from the inland sector and nearly the same from culture fisheries.

The growth rate during the tenth five-year plan (2002-2007) for inland and marine fisheries were 8.0% and 2.5 %, respectively. According to Foreign Trade Statistics of India (Principal Commodities and Countries), DGCI&S during the recent years there has been steady growth in the revenue earned by India from marine products. During 2000-01 total revenue earned from marine products was 6296.00 cores INR whereas during 2006-07 it was 7296.06 corers INR. In the post independent period India,s marine fish production increased from 0.5 million tonnes in 1950 to three million tonnes annually and foreign exchange worth Rs 8,000 crore through seafood exports is being earned up to January 2009.

According to the annual report of Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi the State-wise Fish Production during the period 2006-07, depicts that four states with West Bengal on top of the list has produced the maximum of total fish products. According to the statistics West Bengal produced 1359.10 thousand tonnes of fish. Andhra Pradesh produced 856.93 thousand tones. Gujrat produced 747.33 thousand tones, whereas Kerala produced 677.63 thousand tones of fish.

Compared to growth in world fish production, fish production in India has increased at a faster rate mainly due to increasing volume of inland fish production (Krishnan, et al 2000). Inland fisheries and aquaculture has made rapid progress and are contributing around 50 percent of the total fish production in the country (Krishnan et al., 2001). By 2020, India, Latin America and China are projected to be the top exporters of aquaculture and fisheries resources.

India is indeed endowed with vast and varied fishery resource and a steady growth has been observed in harnessing fisher resources in the recent years. In the present decade least production was observed during 2000-01 when the total Fish production was 5.65 million tonnes including both Marine and Inland resources. Fish production during the year 2004-05 was 6.304 million tones comprising 2.778 million tonnes of marine fish and 3.526 million tonnes of inland fish. There has been steady growth in the export of fish Products. During 2004-05 the country exported 0.437 million tonnes of marine products, which resulted in export earning of Rs. 6188.92 crore (INR). Efforts are being made to boost the export potential through diversification of products for export. The country has now started exports of frozen squid, cuttle fish and variety of other finfishes. According to Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, till 2004-05 about 6.74 lakh hectare of water area was brought under scientific fish farming through Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDA). This growth if not phenomenal is no doubt encouraging, which pushed India as the second important country in Aquaculture production next to China. The rate of growth in contribution of fisheries to Indias gross domestic product has started to approach the rate of growth in its gross domestic product.

Indian fisheries and aquaculture has proved to be an important sector not only for food production and providing nutritional security to the food basket but also for contributing to the agricultural exports and engaging about fourteen million people in different related activities. With diverse resources ranging from deep seas to lakes in the mountains and more than 10% of the global biodiversity in terms of fish and shellfish species, the country has shown continuous and sustained increments in fish production since independence.

According to the reports of the National Fisheries Development Board, Government of India, during 2007-08 India contributed about 4.4% of the global fish production. In India, fisheries sector contributed to 1.1% of the GDP and 5.30 % of the agricultural GDP. Per capita fish availability had been 9.0 kgs and annual export earnings were 7,200 Crore (INR). 14 million employment opportunities have been generated by this sector till 2008-09.


Paradigm shifts in terms of increasing contributions of aquatic protein from inland fisheries and aquaculture has been significant over the years. Aquaculture can provide nutritious food to eliminate malnutrition and related complications globally, with a low carbon footprint. A modern outlook and sufficient penetration of institutional finance may bring about the Blue revolution in aquaculture and fisheries sector in India and it is very much an achievable dream.


Alagarswami, K. (1995) Current status of aquaculture in India, the present phase of development and future growth potential. In: Regional Study Workshop on environmental assessment and management of aquaculture development , pp 141-186. FAO, Rome.

Bodiguel Clotilde, Gréboval Dominique, Maguire Jean-Jacques, (2009) Factors of Unsustainability and overexploitation in Marine fisheries. Views from the southern Mediterranean, West Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.F A O. Rome

Charles, A.T. (2001). Sustainable fishery systems. Fish and Aquatic Resources Series No 5, Blackwell Science, 370p.

De Silva, S.S., Nguyen, T.T.T., Turchini, M., Amarasinghe, U.S. and Abery, N.W. (2009). Alien species in aquaculture and biodiversity: A paradox in food production. Aquaculture Asia Volume XIV No. 2. April-June 2009.

FAO. (2003a) Towards ecosystem-based fisheries management. in: M. Sinclair and G. Valdimarsson (editors). Responsible fisheries in the marine ecosystem. Rome, Italy..  FAO and CABI Publishing. pp. 393–403.  

FAO. (2003b). The ecosystem approach to fisheries. FAO Technical guidelines for responsible fisheries. Volume 4, suppl. 2. FAO, Rome, Italy. 112p.

FAO. (2003c). International workshop on the implementation of international fisheries instruments and factors of unsustainability and overexploitation in fisheries. FAO Fisheries Report, No. 700. 305p.

FAO. (2005b).The State of Food and Agriculture: Agricultural trade and poverty. Can trade work for the poor? FAO Agricultural Series, No. 36. 197p.

FAO. (2005c). Responsible fish trade and food security. Prepared by J. Kurien. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, No. T456. 93p.

FAO. (2005d). Guidelines for the ecolabelling of fish and fishery products from marine capture fisheries. FAO, Rome, Italy. 28p.

FAO. (2007). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2006. FAO, Rome, Italy. 162p.

France, M. & Exel, M. (2000). No rights, no responsibility. In: Use of property rights in fisheries management. Proceedings of the Fish Rights ‘99 Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, 11–19 November 1999. Mini-course lectures and core conference presentations. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, 404/1: 235–240.

Krishnan, M., Birthal, P.S., Ponnusamy, K., Kumaran, M. & Singh, H. (2000) Aquaculture in India: retrospect and prospects. In:  Aquaculture Development in India  (eds M. Krishnan & P.S. Birthal), pp 11-31, Workshop Proceedings 7, National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi.

Parthasarathy, G. & Nirmala, K.A. (2000) Economic and environmental issues of brackishwater aquaculture. In:  Aquaculture Development in India  (eds M. Krishnan & P.S. Birthal), pp 32-51. Workshop Proceedings 7

Portney, P.R. (2005). Corporate social responsibility: an economic and public policy perspective. pp. 107–131, in: B. Hay, R. Stavins and R. Vietor (editors). Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms: Perspectives from Law, Economics and Business. Resources for the Future, Washington, DC, USA.

Ravisankar, T., Krishnan, M. & Mahalakshmi, P. (2001) Decision support for responsible aquaculture development., abstracts, National Seminar and Exhibition on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Nutritional Security, Chennai. No. 29, December, pp 66-67.

Sinclair, M., Arnason, R., Circes, R., Karnicki, Z., Sigurjonsson, J., Rune Skjoldal, H. & Valdimarsson, G. (2002). Conference Report on Responsible fisheries in the marine ecosystem. Fisheries Research, 58: 255–265.

Sinclair, M. & Valdimarsson, J. (2003). Responsible fisheries in the marine ecosystem. Rome, FAO, 426p.

Upare, M.A. (2000) Role of financial institutions in development of aquaculture. In:  Aquaculture Development and Policy: Problems and Prospects (eds M. Krishnan & P.S. Birthal), pp 130- 139. In Workshop Proceedings 7, National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi

Valdimarsson Grimur, (2007) , Fish in the global food chain: challenges and opportunities.  In International seafood trade Symposium .FAO/University of Akureyri 1–2 February 2007 Akureyri, Iceland

Valdimarsson, G. & Metzner, R. (2005). Aligning incentives for a successful ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 300: 286–291.

ANNUAL REPORT 2007 – 2008 ; Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries  Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi.

Contact | Terms of Use | Article Submission Terms | Advertising | Fish Supplier Registration | Equipment Supplier Registration
© 2017 Aquafind All Rights Reserved | Powered by Successful Hosting