Aquaculture involves the cultivation and propagation of the natural living produce of water. This includes marine produce suitable for consumption as well as for industrial and medicinal purposes.
The fisheries industry has seen a phenomenal increase in the last decade. Fish and shrimp production, in particular, has increased substantially in Latin America and some of the Asian countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, China and India.
In India, aquaculture is still in the development stage. By adopting a scientific approach, India, with its 7500 km long coastline, a large inland water system and rich natural resources, can become a dominant supplier of seafood's, which are highly sought after throughout the world. At present, there are over 300 fish processing units in the country, having a total processing capacity of 3500 tonnes per day.
The fisheries industry is rapidly developing as a full-fledged industry, providing employment to traditional fishermen as well as to highly skilled personnel engaged in the scientific breeding and management of fisheries. The profession is also advantageous to the Indian economy because of the country's expansive natural resources, dynamic entrepreneurial skills and cost-effective human resources.
Frozen shrimp, fresh and frozen fish, squid, cuttlefish, lobsters, and dried and live products are among the important items exported from India, shrimp being the most dominant item on the export list, accounting for almost two-thirds of the total export earnings.
Shrimp aquaculture is also advantageous because of its universally liked taste, high unit value, short duration of crop, quick returns on investment, persistent demand, and a fast expanding world market.
AREAS OF WORK
In the industry, the work involves the handling of fish cultivation.
Private companies as well as public sector organizations perform the
tasks of scientific breeding, cultivation and management of
fisheries and other natural living products in the seas. Most
industries are located along the country's rich coastline.
This is another important aspect of aquaculture and includes
development and extension work,
at the Central and state levels, and at private research institutes.
Teaching in fisheries and aquaculture is done in academic
institutions and universities throughout the country.