Kerala is endowed with natural resources to support a fisheries sector that has significant potential to make a much larger contribution to economic growth and social development, while ensuring its sustainability and resilience to climactic-shocks. Prior to the 2018 devastating floods, the fisheries sectors’ contribution to State GDP was Rs. 7086.32 crore, or 1.36% but 11.49 % of primary products such as agriculture and allied activities and employed a reported 11 lakh people directly and indirectly. The fisheries sector has always been important in the socio-economic scenario of Kerala. With a 590 km long coastline, a continental shelf area of 39139 km2, around 4 lakh hectares of inland water bodies like brackish water lakes, backwaters, estuaries, rivers, reservoirs, ponds, tanks etc. and an estimated 11.03 lakh people dependent on fisheries for their livelihood the sector plays an important role in the State’s economy and in the nutritional security of the people. The number of active fishermen in the State is around 2.36 lakh. There are 222 fishing villages in the marine and 113 fishing villages in the inland sector. Besides the direct dependence of the above-mentioned population on fisheries, it also offers other employment avenues in fisheries related and ancillary industries.

Contribution of Fisheries

The State is attempting to rehabilitate and rebuild this sector. Aquaculture has been recognized as one of the fastest growing food production sectors in the world but is vulnerable to climate change and this sector is the only alternative source to be relied on for increasing the fish production in the State. The rebuilding and sustainable development of the fisheries sector is vital for improving the State economy and nutritional security. The recovery vision for the sector is to develop a sustainable, responsible, inclusive, eco-friendly and resilient aquaculture, climate resilient infrastructure to overcome the siltation issues in the estuary mouth & nature based solutions for shore protection and fisheries resource management measures consistent with the policies of the GOK and the GOI

Despite the significant contribution of fisheries to nutrition, food security, sustainable livelihoods and poverty alleviation in the State, the issues constraining the sustainable development of fisheries remain poorly addressed. The 2018 floods badly affected the fisheries sector in which the Inland capture fisheries and aquaculture sectors were particularly affected. The aggregated loss due to recent floods for aquaculture and inland capture fisheries is estimated to be Rs. 10,304 lakh and the aggregated damage is estimated to be Rs. 8450 lakh. In terms of breakup, the losses and damages were Rs. 8866 lakh and Rs. 6584 lakh respectively for aquaculture, and Rs. 1058 lakh and Rs. 348 lakh respectively for inland capture fisheries. The hatcheries, fish farms and field offices owned by Government also suffered losses and damages worth Rs. 380 lakh and Rs. 1518 lakh respectively. The losses and damages were mainly as a result of breaches of bund, overflow and damage to pumps and other farm equipment, siltation in the estuary/river mouth to the sea.

RKI for the livelihood improvement of fishermen

In view of the above following projects worth an amount of Rs.59.25 crores are implementing under RKI for the livelihood improvement of fishermen:-


  • Fish production in cages through participatory approach with beneficiaries of scheduled tribe in Banasurasagar reservoir, Wayanad district.
  • Kerala Aqua ventures International Limited (KAVIL) PROJECTS (To promote Ornamental Fish Farming Sector)
    • Renovation of Infrastructure of KAVIL affected by flood
    • Establishment of a Brood Bank for fresh water Ornamental Fish
    • Establishment Of Aquarium Fabrication Unit
    • Establishment of Aquatic Plant Production Unit
  • River Training Works at Puthiyangadi & Shiriya

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