An appraisal of the marine fisheries of Gujarat
Among the maritime states of India, Gujarat, with its 11 maritime districts, namely Kutch, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Amreli. Bhavanagar, Ahamedabad, Kheda, Bharuch, Surat and Valsad, has the longest coastline and, the continental edge in this part of the Arabian sea being farther from shore than in any other part of the country, has the widest shelf area. The coastline of about 1640 km consists of 173 landing centres. The shelf area covers about 1,64,000 sq.km, of which 64,800 sq.km falls in the depth range 0-60 m, which can be exploited by traditional as well as mechanised craft. The state also has excellent estuarine potentials. Despite the State's thus having an excellent scope for the marine fisheries development, it ranks only the fourth place in regard to the contribution to the all-India marine fish production, the annual average landings being 2.21 lakh tonnes. And, with regard to the involvement of the costal rural population in the marine fishery activities, Gujarat ranks lowest. The state has a marine fishermen population of only 1.52 lakhs, of which hardly 37000 are engaged in actual fishing and allied occupations.