Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 15 Issue 2

The Indian Oil-sardine fishery : Problems in Perspective.

B. T. Antony Raja

The problems of immediate concern regarding the fishery of Indian oil-sardine, Sardinella longiceps, areas follows: Researches should be keyed up on three main lines, namely, behaviour studies through analysis of the distribution patterns of the fish in relation to the environment, population studies to know the homogeneity of the exploited population as well as its strength and parameters and spawning studies for detection, delimitation and evaluation of the spawning areas. Development should include redeployment of effort beyond the present fishing zone, introduction of purse seining on a large scale and the socio-economic problems of the fishing community.

The fluctuations so characteristic of the oil-sardine catches are most probably because of oscillations in the annual recruitment of the juvenile broods which, in turn, appear to be linked up with variations in the intensity of the south-west monsoon. A weak or erratic monsoon is suspected to bring about conditions which are not conducive to successful reproduction and survival of the young fish. A hypothesis is proposed that while a certain minimum amount of rainfall during the spawning period appears a necessary condition, it certainly is not the only responsible factor for production of a good year class.

A symposium on both the oil-sardine and the Indian mackerel is suggested to in increase the effectiveness of future attempts of more penetrative studies, since many of the problems are common for both the fisheries which constitute the 'dual-species neritic pelagic fisheries system' of south-west coast of India.

Date : 31-12-1973