Complete information on the Distribution of Fisheries in India

Although every state and union territory of India contribute towards fish production but over two-third of the output is mainly obtained from five states of West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. In case of marine fisheries Gujarat (22.07%) occupies the first place followed by Kerala (20.16%), Maharashtra (14.33%), and Tamil Nadu (3.09%).

These four states together provide over 70 per cent of the marine fish production of the country. Similarly West Bengal is the leading producer of inland fisheries in the country (30.89%), followed by Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Orissa which collectively con­tribute 71 per cent of inland fish production of the country (Table 12.X).

Kerala is the third largest producer of fish accounting for 11.52 per cent of the total fish pro­duction of the country. However, the state is the largest producer of marine fisheries (20.16%) in India Here Kochi, Thiruvanathapuram, Kollam, Calicut, Baypore, Azhikode, Ponnani, Kannur,

BaliapaUiam and Vizhinjam are the leading I production centers in the state. Bessie there are 264 fishing villages located along 590- long coast line. There are 50,000 fishermen in the fishing activity using 13,800 canoes, catamarans and 1,700 mechanised boats. Matinees include oil sardines, prawns, horse macken soles, shark and lactations in marine fisheries and barbus, mullet, clarius, prawns, merrels and e tropins in inland fisheries. The state has cold storage facility at Kochi, Calicut, Quilon, Thiruvanathapuram, Baypore, Azhikode, Emakulam, Kozhikode, Kayankulam and Tanur; a liver oil extraction plant at Kochi, and fish canning facilities at a number of places. Most of the fish trade is carried through 2 marketing federations, 15 regional marketing fed­erations, 194 credit societies and 823 fish producers, cooperatives.

About 60 per cent of the fish production is utilised in internal consumption, 22 per cent is sold to other states and 18 per cent exported. There is regular transport of fish through refrigerated railway wagons from Kochi to Chennai.

West Bengal

West Bengal is largely important for inland fisheries accounting for 30.89% of the total produc­tion of the country. Pisciculture is carried on in numerous ponds, tanks, rivers, lakes and estuaries covering a total area of about 20,720

The important fish varieties include rohu, catia, mrigal, hilsa, catfish, mackerel, shrimp and perches. The per capita consumption of fish is very high in West Bengal. State’s production, therefore, hardly meets out 20 per cent of the demand; remaining imported from Bangladesh and southern states of the country.


Gujarat is the second largest producer of fish in the country. It contributes 22.07 per cent of the total production of marine fisheries and 1.41 per cent of the inland fisheries of the country. The fishing area is largely located along die 1650 km long coastline from Lakhapat in the north to Umbargaon in the south consisting of 51 fishing ports and cover­ing a total area of about 67,300 sq. km. About 30,000 fishermen are engaged in fishing activity using 4,400 small and 1,150 mechanised boats. Kandla, D warka, Poibandar, Navabandar, Bharuch, Jafferabad and Umbargaon are the main fishing centres.

The state has 13 cold storages, and 4 shark liver oil extracting centres. B ulk of the production is handled through 69 co-operative societies and is sent to metropolitan cities like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai or exported to neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Myanmar and Singapore.

Maharashtra contributes 9.30 per cent of the total production for fish in the country. Besides, the state is the third largest producer (14.33%) of marine fisheries in the country. Fishing activity is carried on all along the720km coastline with Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Alibag, Kolaba and Bassein as leading centres of production.

It provides sustenance to about 2.6 lakh persons who utilise 10,517 fishing boats (200 mechanised boats) in fishing operations. Important fish varieties include Bombay duck, white pomfret, black pomfret, jew fish, Indian salmon, tummies, grey mullet, mackerel, eel, sardine, ribbon fish, shrimp, tuna, shark and prawn etc. Estuarine fisheries are well developed in Mahim and other creeks.

The state has four fish farms in Bhandara, Kolaba, Pune and Parbhani districts. The cold-stor­age and canning facilities are available in Mumbai, Ratnagiri and Kolaba districts.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu with a total coast line of 1,000 km occupies fourth (13.09%) and ninth (3.99%) place in respect of marine and inland fish-production of the country respectively. There are 308 fishing villages using 2,500 catamarans, 794 mechanised fishing boats and 1, 03,455 fishing nets. The fishing area covers atotal area of 5,180 over the continen­tal shelves and slopes. Chennai, Tuticorin, Ennore, Cuddalore, Mandapam, Kanniyakumari, Nagapattinam, and Cuddalore are main fishing ports. Besides 13 cold storages, 21 curing yards there are 3 freezing plants (Ennore and Mandapam), and a fish canning and fish meal plant (at Tuticorin). Main fish varieties include mackerel, soles, sardine, cat fish, ribbon fish, silver bellies and Jew fish.

Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is the fourth largest fish pro­ducing state of the country. It has important role both in terms of inland (second place) and marine (fifth place) fish production in India. The state with a total coastline of966 km has a total fishing area of 31,000 sqkm. Vishakhapatnam, Kakinada, Machilipatnam, Bimlipatnam and Narasapatnam are the main fishing ports besides 350 fishing villages located along the coast. Fishing activity supports 1.8 lakh fisher­men using 23,135 fishing crafts and over 2 lakh nets.

The important fish species include Jew fish, ribbon fish, mackerel, cat fish, sardine, silver bellies and soles. The state has 13 fish farms and 557 fish producers’ co-operatives. There is regular supply of fish through refrigerated railway wagons to Kolkata from Vijayawada.


Karnataka contributes 11.52 per cent of the total fish production (marine fish 20.16% and inland fish 4.48%) of India. The state has 220 km of coastline where fishing operations are carried on through 20,000 fishermen using 6,500 boats and 67,000 nets. Mangalore, Karwar, Kumta, Ankola, Honavar, Malpe, Udiayawar, Bingi, Majali, Bhatkal, Chendia, Gangolli and Bokapatnam are main centers of fish production.

Inland fishery is well devel­oped in the creeks of the Netravati, Sharavati and Kali rivers. Main fish varieties are sardines, mack­erel, seer fish, shark and prawn. With the co-opera­tion of Norway government landing, processing and canning facilities have been developed at Mangalore for deep sea and offshore fisheries. The state has 17 reservoirs, 6,885 km of rivers, and 30,000 minor and 2,700 major tanks yielding 53,000 tones of fresh­water fish.


Orissa is an important producer of inland (4.87%) and marine (4.31%) fisheries in the country. The river mouths of Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Swarnarekha, the brackish waters of the Chilka Lake and large number of tanks and ponds are the main areas of the fish production. Rohu, mrigal, perch, mackerel, prawn, hilsa, elopes; pomfrets, shrimp and croakers are the main fish varieties caught.


Bihar is the third largest producer of inland fish (7.81%) in the country. The bulk of the supply comes from the rivers (Ganga and its tributaries), reservoirs, ponds and tanks. Bhagalpur, Munger, Nalanda, Begusarai, Patna, Bhojpur, Saran, Siwan, Hazaribag, Giridih districts are the major producers. Apart of the fish production is sent to the neighbour­ing state of West Bengal.


Among other important producers of fish in the country mention may be made of Uttar Pradesh (Ganga and its tributaries, ponds and lakes).


(Brahmaputra river and its tributaries); M Pradesh (rivers, tanks and ponds); Punjab; H Himachal Pradesh; Goa (creeks of the Zuari, M Sal and Arachol); Jammu and Kashmir; Dam Diu etc.