Blue Revolution is the domestication and cultivation of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants that have significantly increased and intensified globally from the middle of the 20th century to the present. In India, it was launched in 1985-1990 as part of the 7th Five-year plan. Read here to learn more about the blue revolution.
India is the world’s second-largest aquaculture nation and the third-largest fish producer after China. The fishing sector is essential to India’s economy and has historically been a substantial source of foreign exchange gains, as it is one of the top exporters of seafood in the world.
The fisheries and aquaculture industries have significantly improved as a result of the Indian Blue Revolution. These fields are regarded as sunrise industries, and it is thought that they will significantly affect the Indian economy.
Inland fisheries have recently given way to marine-dominated fisheries, with the latter contributing significantly more to fish output than they did in the middle of the 1980s (36% to 70%).
A steady blue economy has been made possible by the shift in inland fisheries from capture-based to culture-based fishing. Initially, the sector provides a primary source of income for around 16 million fishers, fish farmers, and thousands of individuals along the value chain.
Also read: Census on Water Bodies in India
Blue revolution in India (Neeli Kranthi)
The Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA), sponsored by the Central Government of India, spearheaded the Blue Revolution in India during the 7th Five Year Plan (1985–1990).
The Intensive Marine Fisheries Program was later started during the 8th Five Year Plan (1992–1997), and subsequently, fishing harbors were also created over time in Vishakhapatnam, Kochi, Tuticorin, Porbandar, and Port Blair.
Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries with its multi-dimensional activities, focuses mainly on increasing fisheries production and productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources, both inland and marine.
It is a centrally sponsored scheme.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has accordingly restructured the scheme by merging all the ongoing schemes under an umbrella of Blue Revolution.
The restructured scheme provides focused development and management of fisheries, covering inland fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries including deep sea fishing, mariculture, and all activities undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB).
The restructured blue revolution scheme has the following components:
- National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities,
- Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture,
- Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure, and Post-Harvest Operations,
- Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector,
- Institutional Arrangement for the Fisheries Sector and
- Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions.
- National Scheme of Welfare of Fishers
Objectives of the blue revolution
- To increase the overall fish production responsibly and sustainably for economic prosperity
- To modernize the fisheries with a special focus on new technologies
- To ensure food and nutritional security
- To generate employment and export earnings
- To ensure inclusive development and empower fishers and aquaculture farmers
Features of the blue revolution
- Establishing appropriate connections and convergence with the “Sagarmala Project” of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), the Ministry of Shipping, and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).
- The Blue Revolution program focuses primarily on increasing the output and productivity of inland and offshore fisheries and aquaculture.
- Encouraging those from economically disadvantaged groups, including women, members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and their cooperatives, to take up fishing.
- The Blue Revolution Scheme also supports the growth of private investment, public-private partnerships (PPP), and improved institutional financial leverage.
The current state of the Indian fisheries and aquaculture sector
The abundant and varied fisheries of India, which include deep seas, lakes, ponds, and rivers, are home to more than 10% of the world’s fish and shellfish species.
Marine fisheries resources are found along the nation’s wide coastline, in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and on its sizable continental shelf region.
Rivers, canals, floodplain lakes, ponds, tanks, brackish water, and areas that have an impact on salinity or alkalinity are among the resources for inland fisheries. India has shown great success with brackish or saltwater aquaculture.
Presently, India produces 7.96% of the world’s fish. The US is the largest importer of Indian seafood accounting for 41.15% of imports.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojna (PMMSY)
The scheme aims to address significant productivity and production gaps in the fisheries sector, infuse innovation and cutting-edge technology, enhance post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernize and strengthen the value chain and traceability and establish a framework for effective fisheries management and the welfare of fishermen.
The scheme highlights the importance of leveraging fisheries’ potential in a sustainable, ethical, inclusive, and equitable way.
The PMMSY lays out ambitious goals for FY 2025:
- increasing fish production by 70 lakh MT, increasing aquaculture productivity from the current national average of 3 tonnes per Ha to 5 tonnes per Ha
- doubling exports from Rs. 46,589 crores (US$ 5.72 billion) to Rs. 100,000 crores (US$ 12.28 billion)
- creating more than 55 lakh job opportunities
- doubling fishers’ and fish farmers’ incomes to consolidate the fisheries’ sectoral gains and boost economic growth.
Objectives of PMMSY
- Utilizing the potential of fisheries in an equitable, responsible, inclusive, and sustainable way
- Expanding, intensifying, diversifying, and productively using land and water to increase fish production and productivity
- Doubling the incomes of fish farmers and fishermen and creating more jobs
- Ensuring social, physical, and economic security of fishers and fish farmers
- Creating a solid regulatory and management framework for fisheries
- Increasing contribution to agriculture’s gross value added (GVA) and exports
The Indian fisheries and aquaculture sectors have become the fastest-growing agriculture-allied sectors in the country. Over the past few years, inland fisheries and aquaculture have gradually grown their contribution to global fish output because of various government initiatives like the Blue Revolution.
Due to the use of modern technologies, India has also overtaken other countries in shrimp production and export.
Profitable aquaculture is being practiced in new locations, including reservoirs, flood plains, and salty and brackish waterways. Wastelands are being developed into prosperous areas.
To improve the potential of these industries, the government has put in place several supportive measures.
- On important rivers like the Ganga, the Brahmaputra, and others, it is creating fishing infrastructure, landing areas, river ranching, and fish seeding.
- Cold water fisheries, trout brooding facilities, and hatcheries are being built in the Himalayan and North Eastern states.
By FY 2025, the government wants to boost fish production from 140 lakh tonnes to 220 lakh tonnes.
- Marine fisheries, inland fisheries, and aquaculture can all help with this.
- A network of seamless cold chains, cold storage facilities, ice plants, fish processing units, fish product units, the employment of deep-sea boats, contemporary and efficient fishing methods, and many more have been envisaged.
It is logical to assume that India’s fisheries and aquaculture sector have a promising future given the favorable advances.
-Article written by Swathi Satish