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India: Fish markets in India driven by bycatch and sustained by subsidies by Monika Mondal October 14,2021   |  Source: Mongabay

Twenty years ago, when Gurul Mangellpeli (45) used to go fishing, he would find many varieties of fishes such as pulusa (Indian shad), erameenu (Emperor), karava (Lethrinus) and more, just 20km from the shoreline. “Now the fishes are to be brought from at least 150-300 km away from the coast,” he complains as he docks his boat next to a line of other mechanised boats in hues of yellow and blue at the fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh (AP). Located on the east coast of India, Visakhapatnam (colloquially known as Vizag) is a busy city with high-rise residential and commercial buildings facing the sea. The once-fishing village is now dotted with petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. Yet, fish and fishing remain central to Vizag’s economy. When it comes to marine exports, Vizag port is considered one of the top contributors. AP is the largest exporter of fish and shrimp in the country.

According to the Handbook on Fisheries Statistics of 2020, India’s fishery sector has been growing steadily, led largely by an increase in aquaculture production, which blossomed only in the last two-three decades, with a growth rate of over 10% year-on-year. The Government of India seeks to promote aquaculture, or the cultivation of targeted commercial fishes in ponds

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