Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 41 Issue 1&2

Assessment of the exploited seerfish stocks in the Indian waters.

M. Devaraj, H. Mohamed Kasim, C. muthaiah and N.G.K. Pillai

The annual average catch of seerfishes from the lndian seas during 1990-’94 was 37,926 t,which constituted 1.7% of the total marine fish catch in India. Though there was an increasing trend in the seerfish production in the decades upto the 1990's the rate of increase through the successive decades decreased, suggesting the attainment of near optimum level of production. State-wise production showed that during the 1990's Gujarat (22.8%) followed by Maharashtra (16.9%), Kerala (16.2%), Andhrapradesh (14.3%) and Tamilnadu (11.5%) were the dominant seerfish producers. Gearwise production indicated that the gillnet landed 65.1%, trawl 11.5% and hooks and lines 6.9%, while the rest was landed by the boatseines, shoreseines and purseseines. Among the four species, Scomberomorus commerson (55.3%) and S. guttatus (43.9%) sustained the fishery, while S. lineolatus and Acanthocybium solandri formed only a negligible portion of the fishery. The growth parameters such as L and K for these three species for different centres along both the coasts showed variation.

Thompson and Bell analysis indicated that all the states on the east coast overexdoited this stock by 80% higher effort than the optimum. Along the west coast, the states Kan Goa overexploited it by 80%, Kerala by 60% and Maharashtra and Gujarat by 40% effort higher than  the fmsy  levels. The spotted seer is underexploited by the gillnets but overexploited by the trawls in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat. The streaked seer is also overexploited in the Indian waters. Stock asssessment of the seerfish resources as a whole by the surplus production model revealed that except West Bengal and Kerala, in all other states this resource was either under exploited or the production as very close to the MSY level. Recommendations for proper management of the fishery have been proposed.

Date : 30-12-1999