It was ranked fourth behind Karnataka as per the estimates of marine fish landings in the country for 2016 released by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) at its headquarters here on Friday.
CMFRI Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan said the estimate of value of marine fish landings during 2016 at the landing centre level was Rs 48,381 crore, registering an increase of 20.67 per cent compared to 2015.
Ironically, while mackerel recorded a sharp decline in Kerala, it emerged top among the major resources obtained across the country.
Kerala, one of the major fish consuming states in the country, slipped down to fourth spot for the first time in the history, behind Karnataka.
Gujarat continues to tally the most amount fish in India with a total fish landing of 7.74 lakh tonnes, while Tamil Nadu with 7.07 lakh tonnes came second, followed by Karnataka with 5.29 lakh tonnes.
Despite the fall, the State registered an 8% increase in its total marine fish catch over the previous year, producing 5.23 lakh tonnes. The overall production was 2.5 lakh tonnes, ahead of sardine (2.44 lakh tonnes).
The estimates released by the Kochi headquartered Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) today highlighted that for the first time after 1998, sardine was not the top-ranked species in terms of the catch in the country.
CMRFI recorded a significant boost in a significant surge in the fish landing West Bengal with 2.72 lakh tonnes in 2016.
However, the sardine catch has continued to show a declining trend since 2013.
A huge rise in Hilsa shad catch helped West Bengal to increase its marine fish production while the cyclones reduced fishing days in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha leading to a drop in catches in these two states.
The northwest region comprising of Gujarat, Maharashtra and the UT of Daman & Diu have the maximum quantity with 11.8 lakh tonnes of landings (33 per cent). The landing centre valuation dropped from ₹9,574 crore to ₹9,149 crore, a fall of 4.40%, and retail centre valuation dropped from ₹14,641 crore to ₹12,398 crore, a dip of 15.30%. "The marine capture fisheries is experiencing more fishing pressure and there is urgent need to implement control measures to maintain the harvest at a sustainable level". "We have to explore the utilisation of untapped and unconventional resources to meet the demand", he said.