Short notes on the economics of fish farming
India has a very vast coastline and a large quantity of different types of fresh water resources which are virtually a gold mine from the point of view of fish farming. In fish farming required types of fish are cultured both in protected bodies of sea water as well as fresh water.
As a source of food, fish is second to none from the point of human welfare. It has been estimated that in our country about 8.5 million tonnes of fish are required annually to meet the present day demand. However as against this the annual production of fish in our country is only about 1.7 million tonnes.
A survey conducted has shown that the inland waters of India which run into several million acres have a vast potentiality of producing required quantity of fish. Researches conducted by the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute have introduced modem methods of pisiculture and a production rate of 85,000 Kg. per hectare per year has already been achieved.
Pisiculture provides gainful employment to a large number of people besides providing various benefits like earning foreign exchange through export of fish to various countries. In our country many coastal states export fish and fish products to various countries.
Fishing industry has several by-products in addition to the main product namely the fish. The many by-products of the fishing industry which are a potential source of revenue are body oil, liver oil, fertilizers and other food products etc.
The oil obtained from fish is of two types. Body oil and liver oil. The body oil extracted from the whole fish is of two types. Dry oil and semi drying oil. Dry oil is obtained from sardines, salmon etc. While semidrying oil is obtained from carps. Body oil of fishes finds extensive use as an industrial lubricant.
The liver oil obtained from several fishes is of great medicinal value and is a rich source of vitamin C,D and E. Liver oil is mainly obtained from Cod, Shark etc.
Another by-product of fishing industry is the fish meal which is prepared from the wastes of fish oil.
Fish protein is also extracted from fish wastes by digesting the underisable fats with solvents. Fish protein is used in preparation of ice-creams, varnishes, textile, paper, cosmetics etc.