[Food Processing] Fisheries: Freshwater, Aquaculture, Shrimpfarming: supply chain, upstream, downstream, Marine Policy, Fisherman Welfare Scheme

Poultry Meat & Fish Supply Chain

[Food Processing] Fisheries: Freshwater, Aquaculture, Shrimpfarming: supply chain, upstream, downstream, Marine Policy, Fisherman Welfare Scheme

  1. Prologue
  2. Fisheries: Scope/significance
  3. EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone
  4. Fish Supply chain
    1. Saltwater@Upstream
    2. Freshwater@Upstream
    3. Aquaculture@upstream
    4. Shrimp-farming@Upstream
    5. @Processing
    6. @Downstream
  5. Government Policies/Schemes
    1. Comprehensive Marine Fishing Policy, 2004
    2. National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB)
    3. Government Schemes
    4. Fishermen Welfare Scheme
    5. International Support
    6. State governments
  6. Mock Questions


syllabus of UPSC Mains (GS) topics in this article
(GS1) Distribution of key natural resources across the world and India just a brief table on EEZ
(GS2) Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors Comprehensive Marine Fishing Policy, 2004
(GS2) Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population Fishermen Welfare Scheme
(GS3) Food processing and related industries in India-scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management. Related to freshwater, saltwater and shrimps.

later: we’ll see [Food processing] Poultry, meat, tea, coffee, wine, edible oil.

Fisheries: Scope/significance

  • India is the second largest producer of fish in the world
GDP contribution
  • ~5% within GDP from agri-allied sector.
  • ~0.8% within total GDP.
Export (2011-12 data)
  • Indian Fish export >$3500 million dollar
  • Indian meat export ~$3000 million dollar
  • still, India’s share in world export Is barely 0.1% (for each fish and meat individually)
Gives employment to more than
  • 3000 fishermen villages
  • 8 lakh fishermen families
  • 40 lakh fishermen

Top 5 fish producers

Top-5 Countries (2009 data) Top-5 States (2012 data)
  1. China
  2. India
  3. Peru
  4. Indonesia
  5. Vietnam
  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. West Bengal
  3. Gujarat
  4. Kerala
  5. Tamil Nadu

Some stupid numbers from economic survey

Export (2011-12 data) export (approx. Million dollar) India’s share in world trade (approx.)
Fish 3400 3%
Meat 2700 2%

Geographical advantage:

Coast Line more than 8100 kms
Continental Shelf ~half million sq.km
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) more than 2 million sq.km

+millions of hectares of ponds, tanks, rivers, reservoirs, canals, brackish water area.

EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone

The EEZ of India can be further divided into the following regions:

WEST COAST=42% OF EEZ North West  Gujarat & Maharashtra
South West  Goa, Karnataka & Kerala
EAST COAST=28% OF EEZ Lower East Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Pondicherry
Upper East  Orissa & West Bengal

Remaining EEZ area under Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.

Andaman- Nicobar Lakshadweep
6 lakhs sq km EEZ 4 lakh sq km EEZ

There is immense potential for import of fish into India from neighboring countries in South Asia and South East Asia.
Indian fisheries sector classification

  1. Marine
    1. Deep Sea Fishing
    2. Coastal Fishing
  2. Inland (Freshwater)
  3. Aquaculture

Fish Supply chain Management

Poultry Meat & Fish Supply Chain

click to enlarge Supply Chain of Fish

  • Among all Desi food processing industries, Fish processing supply chain = shortest. Because in most of the cases, fishermen themselves sell their catch directly to consumers via local wet fish markets.
  • Alternate channels for distribution: Fishermen=> commission agents=> Fish market.


  1. Arabian sea=broader continental shelf=fish production higher than Eastern coast.
  2. Despite government ban, fisherman use fine-sized net= even Juvenile fish are being caught.
  3. 30% to 40% of the catch is discarded by fishermen in high seas because juvenile fish who don’t fetch good prices in market= resource lost.
  4. During breeding season, fishing is banned in coastal waters. But the authorities don’t enforce it strictly.
  5. Lack of surveillance of territorial waters= even outsiders (Pakistani fishermen) do illegal fishing in our area.
  6. The EEZ around Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep confluences with international waters. This makes these Island territories vulnerable to illegal Fishing by foreign vessels.
  7. Most fishing vessels don’t have facility to freeze the fish onboard immediately after catching= quality deterioration before they reach the coast.
  8. unregulated fishing of highly migratory species just outside the EEZ=negative impact on Marine biodiversity.
  9. Most vessel don’t have special equipment to do deep water fishing beyond depth of 400m. Example yellow fin tuna found around Lakshadweep islands. They’re almost unexploited since the technology for deep long lining is not prevalent in the Islands.

Fish Supply: Freshwater@Upstream

  • For inland fisheries, two big players= WB+Andhra.
  • But even those state governments not enforcing fishing net size in rivers, lakes and reservoirs= juvenile fish caught and discarded.
  • Fishing ban during breeding season not strictly enforced.


  • National Fisheries Development Board vs. Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.
  • Their jurisdictions/responsibilities are still not clearly defined
  • Result: overlapping, lack of synergy.
  • Freshwater aquaculture, contributed to the ‘Blue Revolution’ in the country in late 1970s. But not it is now almost stagnating in terms of yield rates.
  • Fish production can be enhanced 2 to 4 times by creating more rainfed water bodies via MNREGA labour. But this potential is largely ignored.
  • Fish feed not available at reasonable prices.
  • Most farmers are small/marginal, don’t know best practices in cultivation, post-harvest management for fish farming.
  • waste disposal done in hygienic manner= environmental implications


  • Nellor District, AP= Shrimp Capital of India.
  • Pink revolution=Shrimp/prawns. (as per some books/ PDF reports.)
  • Pink revolution also means meat + poultry. (as per food processing ministry, FAO etc)
  • anyways, let’s check the issues.
  • Disease free brooder stock (parent shrimps)= not available. Hence their next generation is also diseased.
  • If you import the brooder stock=there are no regulation/quality  checks =infected stock=>the shrimps thus grown have variety of disease=rejected in US/EU for export.
  • For aquaculture/shrimp culture, you need to get approval from State fisheries Department. But Often, the state departments take 3-6 months to scrutinize documents= project implementation delayed.
  • Imported feed or antibiotics=>high custom duty=expensive.
  • Therefore lot of Chinese/counterfeit/spurious products in market.
  • Farmer unknowingly uses such input= antibiotic traces found in Indian shrimps=>they’re rejected in US/EU market.
  • feed cost accounts for 50% of the total cost
  • Government investment in research for low cost feed and technology required.
  • Need to educate farmers on modern techniques of shrimp farming so they can enhance the quality and body weight of shrimps.
  • but there is shortage of extension staff for fisheries in state departments.


Fish Supply:NOTABLE Indian PLAYERS
  • Adani Exports, Hindustan Lever Ltd, Ruchi Worldwide, Vishal Exports, Aditya Enterprises ,Liberty, Falcon Marine.
  • Potable water is not available at landing and cleaning sheds at the ports.
  • EU specifies more than 50 parameters of water, If traces of these chemicals are detected= product rejected. (and as you can guess, our exports are often rejected.)
  • Need Focused research to develop low-cost packaging for seafood products, both for the export + domestic market.
  • Even for exports, our fish-processing is primary/basic level
  • We merely freeze/mince the fishes/shrimps and export them to China/Thailand/Japan.
  • They do more value-addition and create variety of ready-to-eat fish food (e.g. sushi shrimps) =>export to US/EU @higher prices.
Fish Supply Chain INVESTMENT
  • To comply with US/EU/HACCP regulation, we need huge capital investments to upgrade our processing units.

Fish Supply: @Downstream

More than 1/3rd of Indians eat fish but demand for “processed fish”=limited because

  • Indian consumer prefer wet (fresh) fish rather than processed fish.
  • Cost of processed fish product= 20-25% higher than fresh fish.(due to indirect taxes)
  • Desi Consumers prefer to buy fresh fish from wet markets and process it at home
  • Therefore, Indian fish processing segment=entirely export-oriented, due to lack of local/domestic demand
  • Fish prices more than doubled during the Eleventh Plan, a higher inflation than either crops or any other livestock segment.
  • This is negatively affecting business and demand.
  • There is inadequate awareness about nutritional benefits of fish.
  • Need marketing campaign to increase desi-demand- showing hygienic, healthy, consistent quality of branded, packaged fish products over the unhygienic macchi-market.
Fish Supply: RETAILERS
  • Large number of retailers are unable to sell processed fish products because they don’t have due to cooling storage facilities + electricity problems.
  • We don’t export Ready to eat marine products in significant volumes, because we are not aware of varied tastes and cuisines in different regions of the world
  • need investment in marketing research in foreign consumers’ food preferences.
  • US Department of Commerce has imposed an anti-dumping duty on Indian Shrimp. more on dumping, already discussed click me
  • US/EU/foreign countries often reject our fish/shrimp cargos for traces of antibiotics, heavy-metals, foul smell.

Government Policies/Schemes


States Marine fisheries within the territorial waters are the subject of maritime states
Centre Fisheries beyond this limit within the EEZ fall in the jurisdiction of Central Government.

Comprehensive Marine Fishing Policy, 2004

By Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Agriculture

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