Research Project

 

Under Research Grant Scheme (Plan)

 

Name of the Organization           :        Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology,

                                                             Bhubaneshwar – 751 003. Orissa (India).

 

Project Topic                               :        An Economic Analysis of Marine Fish Marketing in Orissa.

 

Principal Investigator                  :        Dr. Dibakar Naik,Professor & Head.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

            Orissa occupies a coastline of 480 kilometers (7.87 per cent of the national coast line) and contributes 133.46 thousand tonnes recording 4.93 per cent of the national marine fish catch.

 

            The production of marine fish in Orissa which was 38.70 thousand tonnes in 1980-81 increased significantly to the tune of 53.58 thousand tonnes in 1985-86, 78.19 thousand tonnes in 1990-91 and 133.46 thousand tonnes in 1996-97.  It declined to 121.08 thousand tonnes in 2000-2001 the maritime districts like Balasore, Cuttack, Puri and Ganjam contribute respectively 34.01 per cent, 41.58 per cent, 19.91 per cent and 4.50 per cent of the total marine fish landings in the State during 1996-97.  40 per cent of the total marine catch of the state is consumed inside the state.  Thus, the fishermen depend upon the intermediaries for sale of their catch.  Therefore, an attempt has been made to examine the existing marketing structure, market price and its impact on fish catch, seasonality in the marine fish prices and its fluctuation and scope of export in the context of liberalisation of world trade.

 

            The study has been made during 1996 to 1999 covering all the coastal districts of Orissa with the following objectives:

 

·     To study the trends in marine fish landing in different Mari-time districts of Orissa.

·     To identify the agencies involved and the channels they form in the process of marine fish marketing.

·     To analyse the marketing cost, margins and price spread of different marine fishes in selected landing centres of different Mari-time districts of Orissa.

·     To identify the factors and their relative shares in discriminating fishermen’s net share in the marketing of marine fishes.

·      To study the fluctuations in marine fish pries in Orissa markets.

·      To study the impact of price changes on marine fish landing.

·      To study the export market for marine fishes.

 

The findings of the study has been summarised and presented below:

 

TRENDS IN MARINE FISH PRODUCTION

 

            Total fish production in India including marine and inland was 7.52 lakh tonnes in 1950-51 and increased to a level of 49.49 lakh tonnes in 1995-96 and 56.56 lakh tonnes in 2000-01 recording a rise of more than 7 times during last five decades.  Marine fish production has been increased from 5.34 lakh tonnes in 1950-51 to 27.07 lakh tonnes in 1995-96 and 28.11 lakh tonnes during 2000-01.

 

            The highest growth rate of marine fish production during 1984-85 to 1995-96 was recorded for West Bengal (16.30 per cent), followed by Andaman Nicober (15.69 per cent), Goa (10.7 per cent), Orissa (10.45 per cent), Gujarat (8.99 per cent) and Pondichery with 7 per cent.  On an average the compound growth rate of marine fish production in India was 5.51 per cent during 1984-85 to 1995-96.

 

            Marine fish production in Orissa has been increased from 38.70 thousand tonnes in 1980-81 to 133.46 thousand tonnes in 1996-97.  Then it declined to 121.08 thousand tonnes in 2000-01 among the maritime districts, Cuttack contributes the highest share recording 41.58 per cent of the total marine fish production in Orissa, followed by Balasore (34.01 per cent), Puri (19.91 per cent) and Ganjam (4.50 per cent).

 

            Balasore district which contributes 34.01 per cent of the total marine fish production in Orissa records the highest significant growth rate of 11.01 per cent during 1980-81 to 1994-95, followed by Cuttack (10.21 per cent), Puri (6.84 per cent) and Ganjam with only (0.09 per cent).  On an average the state has recorded a growth rate of 8.86 per cent for marine fish production during last one and half decades.

 

MARKET CHANNEL

 

            Marine fish marketing in Orissa is carried out by a large number of intermediaries forming a long chain of market channels.  In short five on less number of intermediaries form the market channel for the marine fish in Orissa.

 

MARKETING COSTS, MARGINS & PRICE SPREAD IN MARINE FISH MARKETING

 

            The marketing costs, margins and price spread are studied on the basis of primary data collected under fifteen marketing channels spreading over three landing centers located in Balasore, Cuttack and Puri undivided districts of Orissa.  The data refers to the period October, 1996.

 

            The common marine fishes like Pomfret, Hilsa, Bhekti, Khanga, Paniakhia, Prawn, Kani, Kantia, Kokali, Borei and Small Shrimp are chosen for estimating their marketing costs, margins and price spread in the selected marketing channels of each landing centres.

 

            In Nuagarh landing centre of Puri district the fishermen’s share vary from 55% (Paniakhia) to 80% (Pomfret), 60% (Kantia) to 79.54% (Hilsa), 69.23% (Kantia) to 87.50% (Hilsa) and 75% (Kani) to 90% (Hilsa) respectively in the market channel having four middlemen, three middlemen, two middlemen and one middleman of the price paid by the consumers.  With the increase in one to four middlemen in the market channel, the fishermen’s share declined by 10 to 20% in different marine fishes in Nuagarh landing Centre.

 

            In Paradeep landing centre, the fishermen’s share vary from 40% (Kantia) to 69.23% (Pomfret), 50% (Borei) to 75% (Pomfret), 53.85% (kokali) to 80.36% (Pomfret), 43.75% (Borei) to 66.67% (Bijiram) and 80% (Kantia & Borei) to 91.43% (Hilsa) respectively in the market channel having five, four, three, two and one middleman respectively of the price paid by the consumers.

 

            In the existing marketing system the fishermen’s share have been decreased to the extent of 22.20% to 26.76 per cent with the increase in middlemen from one to five in the market channel.

 

            In the Dhamra landing centre, the fishermen’s share vary from 43.75% (Shark) to 70.77% (Pomfret), 53.33% (Borei) to 73.81% (Hilsa), 53.33% (Borei) to 72.10% (Hilsa), 53.33% (Borei) to 73.81% (Hilsa), 72.73% (Borei) to 88.57% (Hilsa), 77.27% (Small Shrimp) to 91.43% (Hilsa) and 95% (Borei) to 98.53% (Hilsa) respectively in the market channel having five, four, three, two, one and no middleman respectively of the price paid by the consumers.

 

FACTORS ASSOCIATED IN DISCRIMINATING FISHEREN’S NET SHARE

 

            A large number of intermediaries are involved in the process of marine fish marketing in coastal districts of Orissa.  The marketing costs and margins are unduly high.  The price received by the fishermen is very less as compared to the price paid by the consumers.  The net share of the fishermen and the price paid by the consumers vary from Rs. 45.00 to Rs. 48.00 and Rs. 56.00 to Rs. 65.00, Rs. 8.00 to Rs. 10.00 and Rs. 12.50 to Rs. 20.00, Rs. 20.00 to Rs. 24.50 and Rs. 23.00 to Rs. 35.00, Rs. 30.00 to Rs. 36.00 and Rs. 34.00 to Rs. 48.00, Rs. 30.00 and Rs. 42.00 and Rs. 10.00 to Rs. 13.50 and Rs. 14.00 to Rs. 22.50, Rs. 55.00 and Rs. 70.00, Rs. 10.00 to Rs. 12.50 and Rs. 13.00 to Rs. 22.50, Rs. 7.00 to Rs. 10.00 and Rs. 12.50 to 14.00, Rs. 7.00 to Rs. 10.50 and Rs. 10.00 to Rs. 18.00 per kilogram respectively for Pomfret, kantia, khanga, ilisha, Bhekti, Paniakhia, Prawn, Kani, Kokali and Borei etc..  Thus there is wide variation in the price received by the fishermen for various marine fishes in different markets channels over space and time.

 

            Linear Discriminant Function (Mahalnobis D2) was used as analytical tool to examine the factors and their relative share in discrimination fishermen’s net share.  In the study, variables like marketing costs, marketing margins, number of middlemen in the marketing channel, distance between the landing point and the consumer’s place and the consumer’s price are taken for analysis.  They together discriminate between two classes of fishermen in receiving price for their fish at the landing centre.  The discriminant scores in separating two classes of fishermen with respect to their farm price for all the fishes are found statistically significant.  Further, the coefficients indicate that the margins received by the intermediaries involved in the process of marine fish marketing in Balasore coast significantly discriminate the fishermen in receiving the price.  It is mainly due to the fact that the intermediaries dictate the price for fish in the absence of intervention of the government in the trade and they appropriate a margin which is unduly high.  The number of middlemen in the market channel play a crucial role in discriminating the net share of the fisherman.  It is mainly due to the fact that more than 75 per cent of the total marine fish catch are actually consumed at distant places which needs processing, packing, grading, icing and transportation.  A large number of intermediaries are involved in the process.  The involvement of number of intermediaries can be checked by vertical integration in the marketing process.  The costs incurred in the transportation is partly responsible too in discriminating the price of the fishes among fishermen.  The consumer’s price for marine fish is too an important variable in discriminating the fishermen’s price.  The coefficients generated in the model can be carefully used for development of market structure for marine fishes.

 

FLUCTUATION IN MARINE FISH PRICES

 

            On an average wholesale price of both bigger and small categories of marine fish in Orissa tend to rise continuously by 10.58 indices and 8.05 indices per year respectively.  The rise in annual price indices for big sea fish was highest for Balasore district (15.48 per cent) and lowest for Ganjam district (5.20 per cent).  Except Ganjam all the three coastal districts viz. Balasore, Cuttack and Puri have higher trend value as compared to the state’s average.  Similarly the rise in annual price indices for smaller sea fish was highest for Puri (13.42 per cent) and lowest for Ganjam (3.90 per cent).  Here too except the Ganjam district, all other coastal districts have higher value than the state’s average.

 

            The monthly price rise for big and small marine fishes are 0.89 per cent and 0.68 per cent respectively in Orissa during 1984 to 1992.  The rise in monthly prices is highest in Balasore (1.30 indices per month) and followed by Puri (1.17 indices per month) respectively for big categories of marine fish as compared to other coastal districts.  But the monthly price rise for small categories of marine fish is lowest in Cuttack and Ganjam district (0.68 indices per month).  It is mainly due to the fact that major portion of the marine catch in Balasore district is exported to outside and for which the demand for marine fishes exceeds the supply and the price rise in Balasore district becomes relatively highest as compared to other coastal districts.

 

            The range in monthly price indices in Orissa marine fish markets vary from 1.30 (1988) to 34.97 (1992) and 12.36 (1988) to 33.60 (1989) respectively in case of big and small category of marine fishes.  The price variation was 8.17 per cent (1988) to 23.55 per cent (1990) for bigger category and 10.93 per cent (1986) to 28.36 per cent (1989) for smaller category marine fishes.  The wholesale price indices vary from 2.74 per cent to 8.07 per cent and 2.61 per cent to 9.35 per cent respectively for big and small categories of marine fishes.

 

            The price of the big categories of marine fish in Orissa markets is below the state average for six months starting from January to June during 1984 to 1992.  Similarly, the price of small categories of marine fish in Orissa markets is less than the state average during February to July (six month) in 1984 to 1991.  Thus, the price of marine fish is comparatively less in the catching season as compared to the off-season in Orissa markets.  Lowest seasonal index for prices of big and small marine fishes in Orissa markets were observed in the month of March (97.21) and April (97.36) respectively.  August is the most dearest for both the categories of big and small marine fishes in Orissa markets.

 

            Lowest seasonal index for bigger category of fish was observed in the month of April and May for Cuttack, Puri and Balasore, while lowest seasonally for prices was recorded in the month of May and July for Ganjam.  Lowest seasonally in prices of smaller category of marine fishes were recorded in the month of March and April.  But July is the cheapest month for smaller category of marine fishes in Ganjam.  Low seasonal index for both the category of marine fishes are found in March and May in all the coastal districts, due to more arrival of fresh inter species during the months.  It tends to decrease the demand for marine fishes.

 

            In Orissa markets, lowest price is recorded in the month of March (97.21) for big categories of fish and April (97.63) for small categories of fish.  The month of August is the expensive month both for small and big categories of marine fish in Orissa markets.  The price analysis clearly indicated that the marine fish price has no constant cycle over the period of eight years at the marine fish markets.  It is mainly due to the fact that the marine fish trade is carried out by the middlemen.  The state Government, specially the Department of Fisheries, has practically no control over the trade.  The intermediaries involved in the process of marine fish marketing dictate the price at different stages of marketing.  As the local consumption of marine fish is less than ten per cent of the total catch, the fishermen mainly depend upon price dictated by the traders.

 

IMPACT OF PRICE CHANGES ON MARINE FISH LANDINGS

 

            Nerlovian price expectation model was used to examine the effect of price changes on marine fish landings in Orissa coast.  The study established that with one per cent increase in wholesale price of marine fish in Orissa marine fish markets, it tends to increase the marine catch to the extent of 1.29 per cent, 0.89 per cent and 0.54 per cent respectively in the landing centres located in Balasore, Cuttack and Puri respectively in short run period.  Similarly, with one per cent increase in wholesale price, the marine catch will increase to the extent of 0.96 per cent, 2.33 per cent, 0.12 per cent and 1.44 per cent respectively in the landing centres located in Balasore, Cuttack, Ganjam and Puri in long run situation.  But the study has indicated that with one per cent increase in price the marine catch can be declined to the tune of 0.15 per cent in short run in Ganjam.  But the price rise has a marginal impact on marine fish catch in Ganjam district.  Rise in market price may significantly increase the marine fish catch in the short run, but other factors like export market, creation of demand in the international market, market infrastructure at the landing centres and Government policies play a crucial role in increasing the marine catch in the long run situation.

 

EXPORT MARKET FOR MARINE PRODUCTS

 

            Over the past 25 years, the total value of the fish and fishery products increased significantly as compared to agricultural commodities.  Fish is only agricultural product which registered a significant increase in its export earnings.  Now the sea-food stands first among the top ten Indian export commodities in production and earning foreign exchange.

 

            The total export earnings on marine products was 235 crores in 1980-81 in India, it has been significantly increased to a level of 4700 crores in 1997-98 and 5790 crores in 2000-01.  Japan has become the major contributor to the Indian sea food export (45.76% of the total value of export) followed by south-east Asia (20.73% of the total export earning) in 1996-97.  Among the various types of marine products exported (1996-97), frozen fish contributes the highest share (46.14 per cent), followed by frozen shrimp (27.89 per cent) and frozen squid (10.82 per cent).

 

            Orissa produces 133.46 thousand tones of marine fishes from all the landing centres located at Balasore, Puri, Cuttack and Ganjam.  Out of which only 9624 tonnes are exported to abroad through the posts located at Calcutta, Vizac and Madras.  A sizeable quantity of marine dry fishes are exported to Calcutta.

 

            Orissa exports frozen shrimp, frozen pomfret, frozen ribbon fish, frozen sheer fish, frozen cattle fish, frozen fishmuws and dry fish.  Frozen pomfret (5.56) and Dry fish (1.330).  Frozen shrimp shares more than 92% of the total export earnings followed by pomfret 2.12%.

 

            Marine products landed in 4 coastal districts of Orissa are exported to Japan, U.K., U.S.A., Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Spain.  Of the total export earnings received from marine fish products, Japan alone shares Rs. 153.34 crores per annum followed by USA 27.69 crores, U.K. 25.79 crores and Netherlands 2.95 crores in 1996-97.

 

            The Marine products has shown a significantly rise in its exports during last five years from Orissa.  The total marine products exports was 4750 tonnes in 1992-93 which has been increased to a level of 9624 tonnes during 1996-97.  The export value was 90 crores in 1992-93 which has been raised to a level of 236.73 crores in 1996-97.  Highest quantity of marine products were exported in the month of November followed by December, August, and September in a year.

 

CONCLUSION AND POLICY OPTIONS

 

            The study “An Economic Analysis of Marine Fish Marketing in Orissa” : concludes the followings.

 

1.                  The growth rate of marine fish production in all the maritime districts are positive and statistically highly significant except in Ganjam during 1980-81 to 1994-95.  A positive and non-significant growth rate is recorded for Ganjam during the period.  The highest growth rate is recorded in Balasore district (11.01 per cent) followed by Cuttack (10.21 per cent), Puri (6.84 per cent) and Ganjam (0.09 per cent) during the period.  Thus, marine fish landing in all the maritime districts have increased significantly except in Ganjam over the years.  Quantum of marine fish catch can further be increased by providing mechanized boats to the fishermen.  The existing country boats operating in the coast can be mechanized too.  The illiterate fishermen can be well trained on the use of mechanized boats and its minor services too.  The trawlers can be provided for deep sea fishing.

 

2.                  The marine fishes are generally marketed through the market channels having five or less number of intermediaries.  The fishermen’s net share get reduced with the rise in middlemen in the market channel.  The fishermen’s net share is even less than 50 per cent of the price paid by the consumers in the market channel having 4 to 5 middlemen.  It is mainly due to lack of Government control over the trade.  The intermediaries avail the opportunity and exploit both the fishermen at the landing centre and consumers at the retail point.

 

3.                  In the present marketing system, the auctioneers and wholesalers play a crucial role in determining prices for the marine fishes at the landing centre.  They have got full control over the fishermen as they have extended credit for the purchase of their net and fishing boats.  In the existing marine fish trade, the auctioneers take the responsibility of fixing the price through auction at the landing centre and for which they charge a commission to the extent of 4 to 6 per cent of the gross value received by the fishermen.  Normally, the auction sale is made by heaps or in baskets.  There is no facilities like sheds in some landing centres too for auctioning and preserving the fishes.

 

Thus, the landing centres should be developed with minimum facilities like sheds, cold storage and refrigerated transport facilities.  This can be developed by creating regulated markets at the landing centre and the auction can be made in the presence of fishery experts, so that a fair price can be obtained for different marine fishes.

 

In the off season, credit can be extended to the fishermen as off season credit on the basis of the nets, boats and manpower available with the fishermen during the period.  This will protect the fishermen in receiving credit from the traders, wholesalers and auctioneers.  It will check too the commitment of the fishermen to sell their regular catch to the intermediaries at a lower price.  Such consumption loan during off season becomes more productive than production loan.  It checks the illiterate fishermen in making commitment to sell their catch at lower price and thus tends to reduce distress sale.

 

4.                  At present, it was observed that the intermediaries involved in the process of marine fish marketing even appropriate to the extent of more than 50 per cent of the consumer’s price as their marketing costs and margins.  Therefore, there is no fair and perfect competition in fish markets.  Usually, these markets or landing centres are faced with either monopolistic or monopsonistic methods of control over fish supplies.  This can be checked by development of regulated markets or fishermen’s co-operative society.  Proper legislation has to be initiated in order to control the malpractices by the traders in fish marketing.  So steps could be taken for licensing of the fish traders.

 

The fishermen’s co-operative society should develop its own processing units at the landing centre.  It will not only check the distress sale but will add to the value of the fish being processed.  The additional gain through processing can be distributed among the member fishermen and this will increase their net share in fish trade.

 

5.                  In the existing marine fish trade, the retailers, who are mainly illiterate old women, preserve the fishes even without ice pieces.  This does not keep the quality of the fish for longer time.  Modernised fish preservation units should be developed at the market yards.

 

6.                  Sometimes, the marine fish in its original form after landing may not be demanded immediately by consumers, but when it is processed into other forms would find a ready market.  As for example, ocean perch fish in U.S.A. did not find a ready market, but when it was frozen, there was a good demand for it.  Therefore, processing units, particularly for marine fishes, should be developed in each landing centre which will not only increase the demand for processed fish but will able to check the distress sale too.

 

7.                  At present, it is observed that the damage of fish is more particularly in the process of transportation from the landing centre to the retail points.  Therefore, facilities should be developed in the state like Karnataka (India) for transportation of the fish through refrigerated vans.  The fishes as well as its products are to be transported in the refrigerated trucks at regular intervals of time to each retail marketing centres.  At retail outlets deep freezers of small sized are to be kept for onward storage and preservation.  This will enable to sell the catch in a favourable market instead of being compelled to sell the money lender-cum-trader.

 

8.                  There exists a wide variation in the price received by the fishermen for various marine fishes in different marketing channels over place and time.  The factors influencing such variation include marketing costs, marketing margins, number of middlemen in the market channel, distance between the landing point and the consumers place and the consumer’s price.  The discriminant scores of these factors in separating two classes of fishermen with respect of their farm price is statistically highly significant.  The margins received by the intermediaries involved in the process of marine fish trade significantly discriminate the fishermen in receiving the price in Balasore coast.  The margins received by the intermediaries in the process of marine fish marketing is unduly high.  This can be checked by elimination of some intermediaries in the market channel through vertical integration in the marketing process.

 

9.                  The wholesale price tend to rise continuously be 10.58 indices and 8.05 indices per year respectively for bigger and smaller categories for marine fishes in Orissa.  The rise in price is highest in Balasore district (15.48%) and in Puri district (13.42%) respectively for bigger and smaller categories of marine fishes.  Annual price rise was lowest in Ganjam district for both categories of fishes.  The monthly price rise for big and small marine fish are 0.89% and 0.68% in Orissa during 1984-92.  The lowest seasonal index for bigger categories of marine fishes was estimated in the month of April and May for Cuttack, Puri and Balasore, while lowest seasonally prices were recorded in the month of May and July for Ganjam.  On an average in the state, the lower seasonal indices in different categories of marine fishes were observed during the month of March, April and May.  It is due to the fact that the supply exceeds the deamds during the period.  Marine fish can be exported during these period to reduce distress sale.  Since, a constant regular price cycle was not recorded in the process of analysis, a cell is to be established to predict the price for marine fishes in the state considering the cost incurred in marine catch and the rulling price in the domestic, national and international market.

 

The prices of the fishes fluctuate more widely than other agricultural commodities.  Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission should fix prices for fishes, which will be quite healthy in not only bringing uniform and stable prices for fishes but also for a steady income to the fishermen.  In Norway, for instance, a minimum price policy was introduced by the sales organizations, which are co-operative in character, in consultation with the Government.  When the fishermen in the past were virtually unprotected against heavy fluctuations in the prices caused by frequent changes in supplies, price support measure are introduced.  All the fishes landed in Norway cannot be sold at a lower price than the minimum price.  The minimum price is fixed after negotiation with various buying groups and according of species, size, quality and zone area.  Similar policy decisions may be made in India to fix minimum prices for both inland and marine fishes to provide price incentives and marketing support in the interest of fishermen.

 

10.             Price being the important instrument in increasing the volume of marine catch, a remunerative price may be provided to the fishermen.  The study too established that with one per cent increase in wholesale price of marine fish, the marine catch can be increased to the extent of 1.99 per cent in short run and 1.35 per cent in long run in Orissa coast.  Price has got a significant impact in shifting the marine catch to a higher level as established through a quantitative model by taking into consideration of the marine catch and its market price over the years.  Therefore, a support price for marine fish is quite instrumental for increasing its volume of catch which will tend to raise its exports.

 

11.             Export market – Orissa produces 133.46 thousand tones of marine fishes from all the landing centres located at Balasore, Puri, Cuttack and Ganjam.  Only 9624 tonnes are exported to abroad.  Orissa has a potential of exporting more than 75 thousand tones of marine fishes.  Although limited processing facilities is presently available it can be extended in the marine fish landing areas.  It export potentiality is exploited the state can earn more than 2000 crores as export earnings.

 

12.             On the process of investigation, it is observed that Orissa Coast is rich in marine resources.  These resources are surrounded by a majority of fishermen communities who are desperately poor.  They are poor because of their lack of access to alternative employment opportunities.  The existing environment often allow the local elites to capture the bulk of any benefits that come from more productive technologies adopted by such community.  Shrimp mariculture development has been initiated in the sea coast.  A large-scale entrepreneurs and local elites take an advantage of this opportunity rather than local small producers.  This tends them to become more poorer with the development of marine technologies and infrastructures too.  The same elites are politically influenced and have access to institutional resources (i.e. credit, Government subsidies, license, etc.) unavailable to non-elites.  Thus, the fishermen community particularly the non-elites do not avail the advantages of modern technology developed for marine fish.  Therefore, Shrimp mariculture development can be directed towards local small-scale producers rather than to local and national elites.  Success in this approach would require substantial commitment for improving extension and credit services to scattered coastal poor fishermen communities.  The problem involved on providing adequate services to number of small-scale producers rather than to a more limited set of typically well educated and well financed large scale producers must be recognized.  Small scale shrimp mariculture development should build on the diversity of resources found within the coastal zone.  The fishermen do not get enough opportunities of employment in the process.  Research in to farming systems clearly shows that during the period of unemployment, small scale agriculturists are engaged in a variety of secondary occupations.  Small-scale Shrimp farmers be encouraged to follow a similar pattern rather than specialize in single enterprise.  This will be possible when the complex coastal ecosystems are not totally disrupted in the process of pond construction.

 

13.             Coastal ecosystem are by nature highly productive.  Properly managed resources found in the marine coast will support intensive human use.  The conversion of mangrove available in the marine coast into private owned shrimp ponds threatens to degrade the biological diversity and productivity of this critically important ecosystem.  Thus, ponds can be constructed in mangrove in a non destructive fashion by leaving sufficient buffer between the ponds and the coastal fringe with well established management practices.  This will not only help the sustainability of mariculture development but also may open other development options for the marine coast.

 

14.             The world hunger to-day, particularly in developing nations, is as acute as it was then three decades ago.  The diets are nutritionally in-adequate, mainly protein deficient.  This problem is existing not only in the developing countries but also in developed nations, though not in serious proportions.  There has been a high growth rate of population in the developing countries and their productivity in agriculture is not very high as compared to some of the industrialized nations.  Land-Man ratio has reached a saturation point in these countries and it is most unlikely that they would bring more land under cultivation in the years to come and produce more food grains.  Further, as it would be very costly, there is less possibility of raising productivity to the level of requirement.  When there is a limit to land resources, the resources in the ocean are limitless.

 

Fortunately, these developing countries have vast living resources in the form of fishes and other protein equivalents abundantly available in the seas, which could be exploited.  Accordingly to some experts, the resource potential of the seas around this regions (developing regions) is high and under-exploited, estimated to be many a time to that of total agricultural production, steps to be taken to wipe out the problem of world hunger and malnutrition.  In addition to see areas, vast areas including water bodies are also available in the inland regions or areas of the world may possibly help to solve the problem of world hunger not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of quality.

 

15.             Particularly, in marine fisheries there are plenty of unutilized resources which are not tapped up fully due to inadequate investment.  The planners of the country need not feel that there is no generation of surplus in fisheries resources.  The surplus generated in it would be far better than agriculture whose development had started a century ago.  But fisheries have yet to make a start.  So, it cannot give a miraculous result overnight.  It is just making a beginning and when all the infrastructure facilities are created, it can definitely show higher returns and productivity.  Hence, more allocation should be made for fisheries development.  The development of fisheries is going to play a vital role in our national food economy besides a very bright future for the export of fishery products.