Goa holds a huge scope in the fisheries development, particularly through brackish water and marine production. Marine fishing is the major activity which is carried out for a period of about nine months in a year. The marine fishing season starts from the mid of August till the end of May. The monsoon trawl ban which is the temporal fishery regulation is from June to Middle of August in Goa. Fisherman prepares themselves for the fishing season during this closure period by mending their nets, maintenance of the fishing vessels, boats and preparing new nets.
The total fishermen population in Goa is about 10545 (Marine Fisheries Census of CMFRI, 2010) of which South Goa and North Goa contributes about 64% and 36% respectively. The total number of fishermen families in Goa is calculated to be 2189 with 1388 families are in South Goa and 801 families are in North Goa. The artisanal fishermen families are 2147 in number and South and North Goa have 1363 and 784 families respectively. The sex ratio (Number of females/1000 males) of fishermen in Goa is found to be 925 and the same in South and North Goa was found to be 930 and 916 respectively.
The active fisher folks in Goa were estimated to be 2370 with South and North Goa contributing 1595 and 775 respectively. There was not a single person associated with the fish seed collection. There were about 1481 engaged in fish marketing with 953 and 528 from South and North Goa respectively. The women have shown their dominance in fish marketing with a total of 1427 which is 96% of the total fishermen engaged in the activity. The fisherwomen engaged in fish marketing from South and North Goa was 924 and 503 respectively. The number of categorized fishing crafts in the fishery is given in table. The trend in the fishery shows that, there is a continuous increase in the number of mechanized trawlers, canoes and non-mechanized crafts from 1960’s to 2010.
The pelagic fisheries potential of EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of Goa is about 69000 tonnes for the
inshore area and 8000 tonnes for the oceanic area (Parulekar, 1989). The sustainable pelagic yield is projected as 46,560 tons per annum. Similarly, the potential demersal resources of EEZ are estimated to be 1, 12, 600 tonnes with a sustainable yield of 67,500 tonnes per year (Mohanta and Subramanian, 2001).
Therefore, the total sustainable yield for both pelagic and demersal fisheries of Goa is projected to be 1, 14, 060 tonnes annually. The marine fish catch of Goa was 20,000 tonnes in 1960’s which was mainly coming from traditional country crafts and some motorized boats. There were no mechanized vessels available during that period. Further, the marine fish production begun to rise from 20,000 tonnes in 1960’s to 40,000 in 1970’s. This might have been attributed to the entry of shrimp trawlers as well as liners in to the fishery.
Following the pace, the production has reached about 54,000 tonnes during 1990’s and which further advanced to 97,000 tonnes in 1997-98. The introduction of more (about 1000) mechanized boats in to the fishery has improved the production during this period. The growth in fisheries has faced a setback during 1999-2000 as the marine fishery yielded only 60,000 tonnes during the same period. It is assumed that the setback might have been attributed to the long dry spells and pollution. The fishery has reached its maximum yield during the year 2005-06 in which, it touched the 1 lakh mark in fishery output.
The major marine fish landing centres of Goa include Malim and Chapora from North Goa and Vasco, Cutbona, Talpona and Betul from South Goa. The medium marine fish landing centres in Goa includes Siridao, Siolim, Morjim and Arambol from North Goa and Cansaulim, Colva, Baina, Cortalim, Velsao, Agonda, Benaulim and Palolem from South Goa.
- Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Ela, Old Goa, Goa