India being a peninsular country has a far-stretching coastline. It is surrounded by water on the east, west, and south coasts. As a result there is abundant fishing in India. The fisheries industry in India is huge. With its vast coastline, India is the fourth-largest producer of fish in the world. This is mainly because nearly 10 million people residing in more than 4,000 coastal regions are engaged in fishery activity. These people are mainly dependent on fisheries to earn a living.
India holds great potential for both inland and marine fishing. It has huge reservoirs for fishing. The fisheries industry heavily contributes to the Gross Domestic Product of India. The fisheries industry is responsible for filling the Indian exchequer with about $70 million per annum. Massive production and export has made the fisheries sector an essential part of the Indian economy.
Though the fishing industry in India contributes heavily to the GDP and is a valuable source of earning foreign currency for the country, it still has a huge potential for export. Out of the total area available for fisheries, a significant amount of area is left unutilized.
In the recent past, the fisheries industry has been growing considerably on a consistent basis. It has also caught the attention of foreign investors. Several foreign investors are now investing in the fisheries industry in India for its potential to offer them immense returns. Another reason for the foreign investors to invest in the industry is the easy availability of infrastructure facilities. The liberalized policy of the government is another vital factor for the fisheries industry to attract new foreign investments in India.
Both the central government of India and the state governments have undertaken initiatives and announced several policies to boost the growth of the fisheries industry in India.
The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries is the main authoritative body for development of the fisheries industry in India. This government body has been responsible for implementing infrastructure development programs and welfare-oriented schemes. It is also responsible for formulating appropriate programs to increase the productivity in the fisheries sector. Furthermore, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is another agency that is responsible for the overall growth of the fisheries industry.
Though the central ministry takes active initiatives to boost the fisheries industry, it is mainly governed by the state governments. Each state has its own set of policies to attract new investments in the fisheries industry of the state.
Some of the most prominent states and union territories that promise huge potentials for investments include:
Goa: The state has a coastline of about 100 km and is rich in marine wealth. Fisheries are the main economic activity of the state. The fishing activity has given a big boost to the canning, freezing, and fish processing industries in the state. These industries offer great investment opportunities.
Kerala: The government of Kerala gives top priority to the fisheries sector. The sector contributes the most to the state governments revenue and brings in foreign exchange. The government is keen to develop this industry further. There are huge investment opportunities for investors in terms of providing technological assistance to the local fishermen, providing storage facilities, fish packaging, and so on.
Apart from these two states, prominent other states and union territories, such as Assam, Orissa, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep also promise great investment opportunities in the fisheries industry.