Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 55 Issue 2

An appraisal of trawl fisheries of India with special reference on the changing trends in bycatch utilization

Dineshbabu A. P, E. V. Radhakrishnan, Sujitha Thomas , G. Maheswarudu, P. P. Manojkumar, Shoba Joe Kizhakudan , S. Lakshmi Pillai, Rekhadevi Chakraborty , Josileen Jose, P. T. Sarada, Paramita Banerjee Sawant, K. K. Philipose, V. D Deshmukh, J. Jayasankar, Subhadeep Ghosh,Mohamed Koya , G. B Purushottama and Gyanaranjan Dash
doi: 10.6024/jmbai.2013.55.2.01765-11

Trawl fisheries sector account more than 50% of the marine fisheries production of India. Annual average fish landing from trawlers was 17, 21, 000 t (2008-2011), which formed around 51 % of the marine fish landing of the coast. In this about 51% of the catch was contributed by the west coast and remaining by the east coast of India. Recent studies of the trawl fishery in India have shown that incidental catches/low value bycatch (LVB) landing and utilization has increased over the period of time. The present study is based on the data collected from major trawl landing centres along the coast of India during the period 2008-2011.The estimated landing of low value bycatch (LVB) in trawl fisheries, increased from 14 % in 2008 to 25 % in 2011, which is reflected as reduction in discard volume by trawlers. On an average the highest quantity of LVB landed was in Veraval (50,000 t). and in Mangalore,  LVB landing increased from 3% in (3000 t) in 2008 to 26 % (12,000 t) in 011.In Mumbai, the percentage of trash fish landed remained around 5% during the study period. In Calicut, the LVB landed in 2011contributed 26% to the total landings by the trawl. In Kochi, Kerala the total LVB landed in 2011 was 1,992 t forming 7.2 % of the total landing. In Chennai, Tamilnadu, the LVB landing which was 13 % in 2008 increased to 17% in 2011, while in Visakhapatanam, Andhra Pradesh, LVB landing showed a steady increase from 2% in 2008 to 21% in 2011. The landing centre price for LVB showed an increasing trend due to increased demand for trash fish for the production of fish meal and fertilizer. The dominance of finfishes in LVB found to increase the value of LVB and the value realized for 30,000t of LVB in Mangalore in 2011 ( Rs.280million) was more than that realized for 50,000t of LVB in Veraval (Rs.200million). A disturbing trend observed from the studies in Mangalore was that, the sardines in trash fetched higher price in some seasons (upto Rs.16/kg) compared to a lower price when landed in fresh form, and the percentage of sardines in LVB is found to be very high (24% in 2010). This trend may cause a severe threat to the protein availability to the rural poor. Looking at the trend of trawl landing during 2008-2012, it is seen that even though the trawl landing showed an increase over the period of time, the edible portion of the trawl landing did not show any significant increase rather showing general declining trend. Study on the bycatch from different centres along the coast of India showed that as many as 237 species /groups of marine fauna with juveniles of commercially important fishes were landed as LVB. Increase in utilization of LVB (which was discarded earlier) from  trawl fishery, a trend which is market driven and its implication on the ecosystem and marine fisheries production of the country is discussed in this paper.


Trawl fishery, India, low value bycatch, discards, juvenile fishery.

Date : 20-01-2014