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Pelagic Fisheries Division (PFD)

Evaluation of the fishery and resource characteristics of oil sardine, anchovies,mackerel,coastal and oceanic tunas, tuna live baits and billfishes, seerfishes, carangids, ribbonfishes and Bombay duck.
Stock assessment and management advice to concerned for judicious and sustainable exploitation of the pelagic resources.
Development of hatchery technology for tuna livebaits and selected ornamental fishes.
Consultancy services in fish taxonomy and fisheries management.
Conduct of short term training courses .
Faculty for M.Sc. and Ph.D programmes in Mariculture and Fisheries Science.
Participation in Community Fishery Development Programmes - Augmentation of tuna production from Lakshadweep seas through installation of FAD's.

In-house Research Projects
Fishery and resource characteristics of Sardines (Sardinella spp.)
Fishery and resource characteristics of Anchovies.
Investigations on the fishery and resource characteristics of Seerfishes
Investigations on the fishery and resource characteristics of Tunas, tuna livebaits and billfishes
Investigations on the fishery and resource characteristics of Mackerel
Investigations on the fishery and resource characteristics of Bombay duck
Investigations on the fishery and resource characteristics of Ribbonfishes
Investigations on the fishery and resource characteristics of Carangids

Sponsored Research Projects
AP Cess Fund
Induced breeding and rearing of livebait fishes at Minicoy
Marine Ornamental fish Culture
Seed production of marine ornamental fishes (clownfishes and damsel fishes).
Integrated National Agriculture Resource Information System (Marine Fisheries & Mariculture).
Augmentation of marine fish production in Lakshadweep.

Pelagic Finfish Resources
CLUPEOIDS: Wolf herring, Oil sardine, Lesser sardines, Hilsa shad, Anchovies (Coilia, Setipinna, Stolephorus, Thrissina, Thryssa) and other clupeoids
BOMBAY DUCK: Harpadon nehereus
RIBBONFISHES: Trichiurus spp., Lepturacanthus savala
CARANGIDS: Horse mackerel, scads, Leather-jackets.
MACKEREL: Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta)
SEERFISHES: S.commerson, S.guttatus, S.lineolatus; Wahoo:Acanthocybium solandri
TUNAS : E.affinis, Auxis spp. K.pelamis, T.tonggol, T.albacares

Stock Assessment
The Division collected and published a wealth of information on the biological aspects of many pelagic fishes.Stock assessment of the pelagic resources were carried out and the management options for rational exploitation of the stocks spelled out. This information was widely used by planners, administrators and scientists...

Results of Stock Assessment Studies
Stocks optimally exploited - oil sardine, mackerel, tunas, seerfishes, pomfrets, Bombay duck
Potential for marginal increase - lesser sardines, whitebaits
Potential - significant increase of oceanic tunas
Indicated effort levels for optimal exploitation

Recommendations - Stock Assessment
Limited entry and effort rationalization
Gear, area and temporal restrictions, closed seasons
Mesh size regulation to avoid netting juveniles
Expansion of fishing to further deeper areas
Installation of FADs for augmenting yields
Reduction of coastal environmental damage
Enhancement of awareness among stake holders

Fishery forecast in the Malabar upwelling Zone
Time series data on oil sardine correlated with sunspot activity, rainfall and mean sea level pressure
Oil sardine abundance indicated a 10-11 year cycle in consonance with the sunspot activity
Mean sea level also indicated a decadal variation pattern
Higher rainfall during late phase of monsoon indicated higher yield

Study of impact of trawl ban on fisheries of Kerala
Made a comparative study of marine fish landings in Kerala for Pre-Trawl Ban period (1985-86) and Post-Trawl Ban period (1993-96) and the analysis revealed
Average annual catch increased from 3.33 lakh tonnes to 5.85 lakh tonnes
Trawl catch increased by 65%
Ringseine catch increased by 75%

Studies on Monsoon Fisheries
The abundance and pattern of exploitation of oil sardine, mackerel, anchovies, tunas and billfishes during pre-monsoon, post-monsoon and monsoon was analysed.
Based on this it was recommended to take urgent steps to regulate the number of ringseines and their further proliferation.
It was suggested to increase the mesh size to not less than 35mm of bottom trawlers.

Mudbank fishery
Chakara - a mudbank fishery caused by the upwelling phenomenon in Allepey district of Kerala.
Country boats used for fishing during chakara.

Awareness programme on the exploitation of juveniles of pelagic fin fishes
(Dangers of exploitation of juveniles was highlighted in this programme)
The exploitation of juveniles, sub-adults and adults of oil sardine were to the tune 19.6% (57,036 t), 38.6% (112,326 t) and 41.8% (121,636 t) respectively by all gears during 1999-2000.
Out of this the ringseine gear alone accounted for 53,614 t of juveniles and 50,250 t of sub-adults of oil sardine.
Economic loss works out to crores of rupees.
Recommended increase in mesh size and avoiding fishing juvenile.
A handout (vernacular) on dangers of large scale destruction of juveniles was distributed among the various stakeholders.

Migratory species - An analysis
Proposed a Production function model based on the catch-effort data of the Skipjack tuna in Lakshadweep
Tuna landings in relation to the meteorological factors in the insular ecosystem showed evidence that wind speed and surface circulation limit the spatial distribution of tunas
Success of pole and line depends on expertise of fishermen, availability of livebaits, biting behaviour
Validation of Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) using remote sensing data attempted for tuna fishery of the islands.
A funded project to augment tuna production by establishment of FADís and study the feeding and schooling behaviour of tuna schools in its vicinity is being implemented