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Part I Statistics and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2019)

    Additional information

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    Part I Statistics and main indicators

    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefPrepared: September 2019

    India has a coastline of 7 516 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 million km², and more than 1 billion people (nearly 20 percent) live in the coastal areas.  Fisheries and aquaculture play an important role in its economy and livelihood. According to the last estimates for 2017, the sector provided about 13 million jobs (4.1 million in aquaculture, 6.3 millions in inland capture, 1.9 million in marine capture and 0.5 million for others including subsistence), with women representing about 32 percent of the people employed in the sector. The sector is prominent in India's development programmes due to its vital contribution to employment, food security and foreign exchange earnings. In 2016, the estimated per caput fish consumption was about 6.6 kg.

    In terms of total fisheries and aquaculture production, in 2008-2010 and in 2012 India was the second major producer in the world and in 2017 ranked third. Despite this key role, unfortunately, no official fishery and aquaculture statistics were reported to FAO since the last four years and data for 2014-2017 had to be estimated by FAO.

    Fish production reached an estimated level of 11.6 million tonnes in 2017. In that year, the estimated production for capture fisheries was of almost 5.4 million tonnes (3.8 million tonnes from marine and 1.6 million tonnes from inland water). In 2017 the estimated number of fishing vessels was 193 587, with just over 50 000 not powered. Aquaculture has long been a major fish producing subsector with the production of 6.2 million tonnes of food fish in 2017, the second highest-level following China. About 88 percent of farmed fish comes from inland aquaculture, and carps and other freshwater fishes account for the bulk of aquaculture production.

    Export earnings from fish and fishery products totaled about USD 7.2 billion in 2017, with shrimps contributing over 65 percent.

    India’s marine fisheries production reached a plateau as most major stocks are fully exploited. At best, only a marginal increase can be realized through exploitation of deep-sea resources. Strenuous efforts are needed at federal and state levels to upgrade the country’s capacity to manage its marine fisheries. Unregulated access to these fisheries resulted in significant overcapacity, especially of medium and small trawlers that compete over dwindling fishery resources with mostly impoverished small-scale fishers.

    India is seeking to expand fishing activities into its full EEZ and indicated interest for assistance with the conversion and modernization of her smaller vessels. Despite attempts to reduce post-harvest losses, handling fresh fish with a minimum of spoilage is still problematic and needs considerable attention.

    Other important challenges include improving its per capita fish consumption, increasing production levels, improving cold chains and distribution systems, reducing risks from diseases affecting semi-intensive shrimp farming, and avoiding border rejections of processed products based on food safety standards. Marine aquaculture is almost non-existing in India and the National Fisheries Development Board is currently exploring opportunities for marine cage culture in India.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Key statistics

    Country area3 287 260km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area2 973 190km2FAOSTAT. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
    Inland water area314 070km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.1371.663millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2019
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area2 332 557km2VLIZ

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries statistics

    Updated 2019The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

    Additional information

    Meetings & News archive


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