The Blue Revolution in India

The term “blue revolution’ is used to describe the adoption of a package of methods by which fish production has been increased substantially in India since independence.

The term was coined after the success of the Green Revolution which signified enormous increase in grain output.

After independence, the fisheries industry, particularly the marine sector, has witnessed a massive transformation from the traditional and subsistence type enterprise to a market-driven multi-crore industry equipped with essential infrastructures.

During the past few decades the marine fisheries production has increased manifold through successive stages, mainly due to the adoption of synthetic fibres in lieu of natural fibres in gear fabrication, introduction of mechanical trawlers, adoption of techniques like mass harvesting gear, the purse seine in the fishing grounds of south-west coastal region in the 1980s, mechanisation of country-made crafts and the subsequent application of innovative gears on a wide scale.

There has been an increase in the total fish production from 0.75 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 6.8 million tonnes in 2006-07 at the end of the Tenth Plan. However, production has fluctuated over the years.

Strategic Issues and Bottlenecks:

It is a matter of concern that we still lack full information about the physio-chemical properties of the marine waters and their impact on marine organisms. At present we possess very little knowledge about some of the major hydro-meteorological phenomena like monsoon, upwelling, ocean currents and drifts and their influence on the migration of species in water.

The significance of oxygen-minimum layer in the Arabian Sea in relation to phytoplankton blooms, red tides, mortality of species, nature of trophic levels, is still not known- This lack of knowledge has prevented us from developing resource models for forecasting production.

It is important that we address, synthesise and document the marine biodiversity and search for marine organisms possessing therapeutic value and toxicological importance. Research should also be conducted in the areas of coastal water pollution and consequent threats to biological diversity.

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