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Karnataka: Fish production heads south, thanks to El Nino effect, strikes June 10,2019   |  Source: The Times of India

Fish, a major source of protein and fatty acids, has gotten too pricey for most homes across that state, thanks to a sharp fall in catch due to reasons that include climate change, the El Nino effect and the intermittent strikes by fisher folk over the missing boat Suvarna Tribhuja. Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) data shows Karnataka’s production for the year 2018-19 (ending May 31) fell to 4,45,213 tonnes from 5,47,784 tonnes in 2017-18, a drop of 18%.

“There has been an overall decline in catch across India,” said Dr Prathibha Rohit (scientist in charge) Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), CMFRI, Mangaluru Research Centre. “CMFRI issued a forecast last year over the decline of Indian oil sardine (IOS, Sardinella longiceps) because of El Nino. The climate cycle has had a staggered effect on the reproductive biology of the fish. IOS is the most abundant fish resource in Indian seas and the catch of this variety often reflects total marine fish landing trends in the country. Climate change has retarded growth of fish.” In Karnataka, there has been a decline in the catch of mackerel too.

Inclement weather at the start of the fishing season last year and strikes by the fishing community over the light fishing row and later in support

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)