The fishing industry in India is diverse and includes sub-sectors such as marine, inland, brackish, cold water and ornamental fisheries.
The sector has enormous economic potential in India, with a coastline of more than 8,000 km, an exclusive economic zone of more than 2 million square kilometers and vast freshwater resources.
Role of Fishery Cooperatives:
Fisheries cooperatives can provide livelihoods, food security and social security to vulnerable groups in society.
Approximately 4 million people benefit economically from primary fisheries cooperatives in India.
The role of fisheries cooperatives must be considered at all levels in the changing economic situation and they must be supported with means to develop infrastructure and an advanced supply and value chain for sustainability.
Fishery Development: Government of India’s Thrust:
Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan: The Prime Minister announced a Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to create jobs in the fisheries sector.
The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY): Launched in 2019-20 with a total project outlay of Rs 20,050 crore to boost India’s economy through the fisheries sector. Know more about the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana in the link.
Fisheries & Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF): A dedicated fund of Rs 7,522 crore was established to develop fisheries and aquaculture infrastructure.
Blue Revolution: Introduced in 2014, it promotes fish production and infrastructure development in the fisheries sector. Read more about the blue revolution in the link.
Fishery Cooperative Movement in India:
The fishery cooperative movement in India began as early as 1913 when the first fishermen’s society was organised under the name of the ‘Karla Machhimar Cooperative Society’ in Maharashtra.
With the establishment of the Ministry of Cooperation, fisheries cooperatives have received priority attention and real focus.
National Database of Fisheries Cooperatives:
A decision has been taken to organise fishery cooperatives covering each panchayat of the country to reach a figure of 2 lakhs in the coming five years.
The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and FISHCOPFED have been assigned to speed up the work in coordination with the concerned State/UT authorities.
The database can help identify the gaps in the sector, and efforts will be made to bridge the gaps.
Fishery Success Stories:
Fishery cooperatives have received priority attention and real focus since the establishment of the Ministry of Cooperation in 2021.
Matsyafed-Kerala: Established in 1984, this state-level federation excels in fish sales, exports, and retail outlets, and operates its own mat-making and processing plants.
Gujarat Fisheries Central Cooperative Association (GFCCA): Registered in 1956, GFCCA operates diesel outlets for fishing boats and successful fish retail outlets in Delhi.
The fisheries sector is a sunrise sector in India with immense economic potential.
Fishery cooperatives can play a key role in providing nutritious food to people and generating employment opportunities.
The government of India is committed to uplifting the fishery cooperative sector through adequate policy and financial support.
The synergy between the Ministries of Cooperation and Fisheries is expected to drive the sector’s growth.