The lagoon, sand banks, open reefs and submerged banks forming part of the archipelago, are rich in marine life and mineral resources. They spread over an area of 4,200 Sq.Km. and have extended India's economic zone by about four lakh sq.Km. Till the begning of the IIIrd Plan, fishing was done with locally made wooden craft and traditional implements. With the emphasis on fisheries development during the IIIrd Plan and subsequent plan periods, the traditional and primitive methods of fishing which was laborious,time consuming and uneconomical have given way to modern mechanised fishing. In 1960, the total fishlanding a year was only about 600 tonnes. This has gradually gone up and in 1993-94 the fish landing was 9750 tonnes, a percapita fishlanding of 177 Kg.a year. The two boat building yards and eleven workshops in islands cater to the needs of fishermen. There are altogether 375 boats in operation in Lakshadweep. Tuna, the chicken of the sea is in plenty around Lakshadweep.
The fishermen largely go for tuna fishing (besides shark fishing). Fresh tuna caught is processed in the Canning Factory at Minicoy. Besides, the fishermen dry the tuna in the sun after cooking and smoking. The resultant product is known as 'Mas',which values on an average of Rs70 to 95 per Kg. Fish aggregating device known as 'Payaw" was introduced in Lakshadweep which increased the fish catch. Now the department is going
for larger vessels like 38 foot and 55 foot boats for large scale exploitation of Tuna and Shark.
The Marine Aquarium and Museum at Kavaratti is a centre of tourist attraction. Different varieties of marine organism are reared in the acquarium.
The experimental pearl culture scheme set up inthe uninhabited island of Bangaram has shown potential. This centre had already produced Pearls during the year 1984-85