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At the first anniversary of the formation of the Department of Fisheries there is little to celebrate in the Budget 2020 from the point of view of traditional and small-scale fish workers who are engaged in capture and extensive culture fisheries in both inland and marine sectors. An independent Department of Fisheries has been created in 2019 to provide sustained and focused attention towards the development of fisheries sector. According to the Economic Survey of India “USA and South East Asia are the major export markets for Indian seafood with a share of 34.81 percent and 22.67 per cent respectively. India has rich and diverse fisheries resources. The marine fisheries resources are spread along the country’s vast coastline and 2.02 million square km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)and 0.53 million sq.km continental shelf area. The inland resources are in the form of rivers and canals (1.95 lakh km), floodplain lakes(8.12 lakh hectares), ponds and tanks (24.1lakh hectares), reservoirs (31.5 lakh hectares),brackish water (12.4 lakh hectares), saline/alkaline affected areas (12 lakh hectares) etc.”

It is important to note that even within this budget, the livelihoods of those engaged in fisheries have been subsumed into other sectors; these are agriculture, infrastructure and the over-arching Blue Economy model of development.

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