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How marine fisheries can add to Africa’s catch

  • Published
    12th Nov, 2022
Context

In a study conducted, it has been found that the need of growing population in Africa is dependent on Marine fishes for survival.

  • Now it became particularly important to give attention to the development of Africa’s “blue economy”.

The problem statement (Africa’s fisheries sector & increasing demand)

  • The African marine fisheries sector is huge. It’s valued at more than US$24 billion per year.
  • Africa’s population is expected to reach 7 billion in 2030 and 2.5 billion in 2050.
  • Fish consumption is already 5 kg per capita per year. It would need to grow to 13 million tonnes of marine fish in 2030 and almost 19 million tonnes in 2050.
  • The African continent produces seven million tonnes of marine fish a year.
  • This capture has increased in recent years as the improved catches in West Africa and the end of Somalian piracy in the Indian Ocean.
  • But the growth in supply can’t match the growing demand.

These figures provide an idea of the scale of the production gap: about six million tonnes in 2030 and 12 million in 2050.

What is the Blue economy?

  • The ‘Blue Economy’ is an emerging concept that encourages better development of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources.
  • It is important to note that the blue economy goes beyond viewing the ocean economy solely as a mechanism for economic growth.

Significance of marine-based Economy in the Indian Ocean

  • High Return on Investment: New research commissioned by the high-level panel for a sustainable ocean economy, co-chaired by the Norwegian Prime Minister (PM), shows that every dollar invested in key ocean activities yields five times i.e. $5 in return, often more.
  • Synergy with SDG: It supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14's life below water.
  • Sustainable Energy: Supporting the increasing demand for renewable energy, offshore regions have tremendous potential in the form of offshore wind, waves, ocean currents including tidal currents, and thermal energy.
  • Generate Employment: The blue economy has the potential to grow employment opportunities in the region by engaging people in marine-based activities like fishing etc.

Threat to the marine fisheries sector

  • unsustainable rates of fishing
  • weak fisheries governance
  • Climate change
  • Habitat destruction
  • Territorial boundary issues

India’s fisheries sector

  • India is the second largest fish-producing country in the world accounting for 7.56% of global production and contributing about 1.24% to the country’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and over 7.28% to the agricultural GVA.
  • The fisheries sector has been recognized as a ‘Sunrise Sector

India’s steps for building Blue Economy

  • Sagarmala Project: It focuses on the development of coastal communities and people in the sustainable use of ocean resources, modern fishing techniques, and coastal tourism.
  • O-SMART: India has an umbrella scheme by the name of O-SMART which aims at the regulated use of oceans, and marine resources for sustainable development.
  • National Fisheries Policy: India has a National Fisheries policy for promoting the 'Blue Growth Initiative' which focuses on the sustainable utilization of fisheries wealth from marine and other aquatic resources.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF)
  • Issuance of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fishers and fish farmers

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