DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES                                                                                                                                           



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       The planned and scientific developments in Fisheries sector started in  Lakshadweep with the  inception of the Department of Fisheries in 1959. Before that, the fishing crafts, Gears and fishing methods  used  where primitive  


types like rowing crafts and fishing gears like hand lines, cast nets, wounding gears, harpoons etc.. The Department started functioning with prime objectives of:- 

   Enhancement of fish production in Lakshadweep

   Creation of self employment opportunities to the locals of Lakshadweep

   Upliftment of socio economic conditions of the local people

               There was no mechanized fishing boats available in Lakshadweep at that time.   The Department after inception, introduced mechanized boats for fishing especially for tuna, the only abundantly available  resource in Lakshadweep waters. During 1960s the average annual fish catch was only 500 tons. Now, 503mechanized fishing boats have been introduced out of which about 400    are  used for fishing in different islands. All these boats were supplied to fishermen under hire purchase system by the Department. Besides these about  500  country  crafts,  many  of them

fitted with Out Board Motors are also used for fishing. Annual fish catch has gone up to   12200 tons (in the year 2001). Marine workshops have been established and are available in all the  islands for the repair and maintenance of the engine of the fishing boats. 

            The Department had provided the following Pre-Requisites and infrastructural facilities for the development of Fisheries Sector in Lakshadweep.

  Establishment  of   Fisheries  field  units  and  demonstration  Units in all  islands

  Introduction of  mechanized boats for fishing especially for Tuna

  Establishment of  Boat Building Yard for the construction of fishing boats for

     supply to fishermen

  Establishment of  Marine work shop to attend repair and maintenance of private fishing boats.

  Establishment of  Fishermen Training Centre and imparting training to local


  Establishment of  Canning Factory for Canning Tuna.

  Establishment of  Lakshadweep Development Corporation providing financial

     assistance for taking   of fisheries developmental activities on commercial basis

  Establishment of  Fishermen Co-operative Societies.

  Establishment of  Tunnel Freezer, Ice plant and Cold storages for preservation and  marketing of  fish.

             The   materials for fishing,    spare parts of engines, fishery requisites, boat maintenance materials, HSD and lube oil etc. are supplied     to fishermen from Fisheries Units in all the islands on full payment. There are two Boats Building Yards available one each at Kavaratti and Chetlath. So far 368 numbers of 25-30 footer boats have been constructed in these yards and supplied to fisherman. One tuna-canning factory, which was established by the Department in 1969 is handed over to  the Lakshadweep Development Corporation Ltd and now run by them. Since the islands are scattered in deep sea and miles away from one another, infrastructure facilities have to be developed in each island. In order to provide   such   facilities   for   the   use    of

 fishermen for  preservation of their catch and production of quality products, department has established one number 1 tone capacity Tunnel Freezer at Chetlath one number 5 tone capacity Shell Ice making Unit at Agatti and one each 5 tone capacity cold storages at Agatti, Kavaratti, Androth and two numbers at Chetlath.  One multi purpose medium size 55 fishing vessel with refrigeration facilities (15 ton) capacity is also introduced during 2000-2001. The vessel is operated for deep-sea fishing using monofilament long line fishing gear for Yellowfine and other big varieties of tuna by the Lakshadweep Development Corporation. 

Major Achievements:-

                            The   Developmental programmes    formulated  and   implemented  by the Department has got great impact in the  developmental process of the Sector.  The major achievements are :

   Boat Building Yard established                                                   - 2Nos.

   Marine Work Shops established                                                 - 11 Nos.

   Tuna Canning Factory established ( Presently run by  LDCL) - 1No                   

    Fishermen Co op. Societies established                                         3Nos.                                                                                                                            

   No. of 25-30Ft Mechanized Tuna Pole and Line fishing Boats

      Supplied so far                                                                              -   510

    Number 38ft Boat supplied                                                          -       7

    Number of Inboard Engines supplied                                          -   142

    Number of outboard Motors supplied                                         -    14

    Annual (Average ) fish catch                                                         - 12200 tones

    Per capita income out of fishing:                                                   - Rs.1630/-

    Direct self employment opportunities created                             - 5000 Appx

    Indirect self employment opportunities created                           - 2000 appx

   Tunnel Freezer established                                                             - 1 No

   Shell Ice making Unit established                                                     1 No

   Cold Storage established                                                                   5 Nos

   Marine Aquarium and Museum established                                    1 No.

               Tuna is the main  resources  on  which the fishing industry developed in Lakshadweep. The  tuna is converted into traditional product called Mas.  The tuna is made in to fillets and there after boiled / cooked smoked and sun dried for 7 to 8 days to get the product Mas. The Mas is sold out at Mangalore, Calicut and Tuticorin from where it is  exported to South East Asian Countries mainly to Sri Lanka. Since the fishermen, the producer is exploited to a greater extend by the middlemen  at the above markets, the U. T. Administration has already provided a rolling fund to Lakshadweep  Marketing  Federation    (LCMF), Beypore to purchase the Mas at a reasonable rate directly from fishermen and export.


         The Lakshadweep Development Corporation Limited (LDCL) also come forward with a project to collect the fresh fish from fishermen from landing centers and to export to Foreign Countries in frozen condition there by the fishermen is expected to get a better price on the spot.

           Besides the Marine Aquarium and Museum established at Kavaratti has now became a major attraction  Centre for visitors, Tourists, Students and Scholars. The institution which is one of the best of its kind in the country exhibits vast and diversities marine life.