While oil sardines, the mainstay of the catches in most of the maritime states in the country recorded the sharpest drop, Hilsa Shad, the favourite fish in West Bengal, recovered from its previous trends of dwindling landings to reach 94,000 tonnes- four fold increase compared to a year ago, says the estimates of country's marine fish landings of 2016.
The total marine fish landings was 3.63 million tonnes and the value of marine fish landings at the landing centre level was estimated at ₹48,381 crore, registering an increase of 20.67 per cent.
Kerala has for the first time in history has dropped out of the top three States in marine fish landings in the country.
Gujarat remained at the top for the fourth consecutive year for maximum fish landings followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
Though Kerala was pushed down to the fourth position, it registered an eight per cent increase in total marine fish catch at producing 5.23 lakh tonnes behind Gujarat (7.74 lakhs tonnes), Tamil Nadu (7.07 lakh tonnes) and Karnataka (5.29 lakh tonnes).
The marine fish landings in India, which had dropped to 5.3 per cent in 2015 from a year earlier, has recorded a slight increase of 6.6 per cent during 2016. The overall production was 2.5 lakh tonnes, ahead of sardine (2.44 lakh tonnes). Mackerel catch stood at 2.5 lakh tonnes compared with 2.44 lakh tonnes of sardine. In 2016, it has been replaced by mackerel as the fish with maximum landings in the Indian coasts.
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For the first time since 1999, oil sardine was not ranked the top species in terms of catch as it fell below Indian mackerel, says the CMFRI's estimates.
Sardine, the most common fish species of the State, continued to show a declining trend.
A huge hike in the production of Hilsa shad, the favourite fish of the Bengalis, helped West Bengal increase its marine fish production to 2.72 lakh tonnes. Mackerel recorded 0.47 lakh tonnes this time. Even as the total landings increased in the state by 8%, Kerala suffered a fall of 18.09% over previous year in the value of fish catch at the retail centres.
India's west coast contributed a major share of 64 per cent to the total landings. From a mere 4,691 tonnes in 2015, the catch rose to 1.3 lakh tonnes.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.
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