Inter-sectoral Disparity and Marginalization in Marine Fisheries in India

Sathiadhas, R (2009) Inter-sectoral Disparity and Marginalization in Marine Fisheries in India. Asian Fisheries Science, 22 (2). pp. 773-786.

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Abstract

Fisheries policy in the eleventh plan aims at sustainable economic growth, with due concerns on food and nutritional security and supply side responses. The plan accords overarching priorities on bridging the sharpening divides and increasing disparities in all sectors. The socio- economic framework of the fishing community with structural changes in coastal sector needs successful design and implementation of development programs. This article highlights the sectoral growth of fishing units and their capital investment over the years, change in ownership pattern of means of production, earnings, sectoral disparity, and inequity among marine fisher folk in India. Base material for the analysis includes primary data collected from selected centers of maritime states in India and secondary data on marine fisheries census of CMFRI and other relevant publications. There has been sizeable growth of 70% in the mechanized fishing units and about 200% growth in motorized sector that are technically efficient (over the last 12 years until 2005). However, there has been a downtrend of 43% in the nonmechanized units (traditional sector) denoting a gradual phasing out of less efficient units. The improved socio-economic status of fishers is reflected by increase in literacy level, reduction in dropouts, and improvement in housing type. The proportion of owner operators in marine fisheries declined over the years with the increasing capital requirement for possessing motorized and mechanized fishing units. The fishermen involved in active fishing is more than the absorbing capacity of the fisheries sector leading to disguised unemployment and has led to lower per capita production, increased pressure on fishing, which results in juvenile catch, large level discards, and thus ultimately causing serious threats to resource sustainability and environmental stability. The nonmechanized sector is providing about 33% of the employment in active fishing, yet harvesting hardly 7% of the annual landings, whereas mechanized segment that employs 34% harvests 70% of total catch creating wide inter-sectoral income disparity. The annual per capita catch of fisher folk in mechanized segment is more than twice as those of the per capita catch of the motorized segment and nine times of the per capita catch of the nonmechanized (traditional sector) segment clearly signifying growing inter-sectoral disparity in distribution of economic gains. Average annual per capita earnings of fishing laborer range from Rs.13,200 for a motorized dingi with bagnet to Rs. 1,27,200 for a mechanized purse seiner. Significant variation is also observed even within groups of crafts namely trawlers, gillnetters, purseseiners, motorized, and traditional crafts. The analysis indicate that there is high incidence of poverty in the coastal rural sector explicitly revealing that majority of these people still could not get much of the benefits of the economic development taken place in our country.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Disparity; marginalisation; marine fisheries
Subjects:Socio Economic and Extension
Marine Fisheries
Divisions:CMFRI-Cochin > Fishery Extension
ID Code:587
Deposited By:Edwin Joseph
Deposited On:20 May 2010 18:09
Last Modified:20 May 2010 18:09

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