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Pelagic Fisheries Division (PFD)

Technology for Hatchery production of Ornamental fishes
The Division perfected for the first time a technology for hatchery production of the Clownfish Amphiprion chrysogaster.
Trials are on with other ornamental fishes.
Scope for domestic and foreign trade on ornamental fishes.
A marine ornamental fish aquarium at Vizhinjam is also being run successfully.

INDIAN OIL SARDINE (Sardinella longiceps)
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Oil sardine supports a fishery of high magnitude along the SW coast of India. Of late the resource has emerged as a major fishery along the east coast.The annual production is highly fluctuating and has a ten year periodicity. The all India production during 2024 was a record high of 0. 361 million tonnes

Species of Sardinella other than Sardinella longiceps (oil sardine) are called Lesser sardines.
Shows wide fluctuation in annual production.
Common species are S.gibbosa,S.albella, S.sirm, S.fimbriata and S.dayi.
Average annual landings during 1995-2000 was 0.12 million tonnes
Contribution from east coast (65%) and west coast (35%).
Major gears- Shoreseine, small meshed gillnets, boatseines, trawls.
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Bombay Duck (Harpadon nehereus)
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Supports a single species fishery of high magnitude along the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts and a minor fishery along the north east coast of India
Landings fluctuated from 86,000t (1996) to 136,000 t (1991)
Exploitation is mainly by Dol net, followed by trawl.
Effect of pollution on the stocks along the northwest coast is being monitored

Ribbonfishes (Cutlass, Hairtails)
Also known as 'Hairtails' or 'cutlass' its average annual landing was 1.2 lakh tonnes in the '90s.
Percentage Contribution from different states
Gujarat (39.1%),
Maharashtra (27%)
Kerala (11%)
Andhra Pradesh (8.3%)
Tamil Nadu (4.6%).
Dominant species is Trichiurus lepturus (98%) while species like T.russelli, Lepturacanthus savala, L.gangeticus and Eupleurogrammus muticus are also observed
Main gears are gillnets, trawls and boatseines.
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Click for big size Includes the horse mackerel, scads, queenfishes, pompanos and darts, represented by 140 species. Annual production fluctuated between 110,715 t (2000) and 189,737t (1992). It contributes 6% of total marine fish landings in the country. Exploited by trawls, purseseines, ringseine, boastseine, shoreseine, gillnet and hooks and line. Fishery shows high seasonal and regional variations in species composition.

Indian Mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta)
Fishery all along the Indian coast, but predominant in the west coast.
Shows a decadal trend as in oil sardine.
Annual catch fluctuated between 0.113 million t to 0.274 million t during the last decade.
East coast recorded 60,000 t in early nineties, but showed a decline there after
Major Gears - Ring seine, Purseseine, Trawl, Gillnet, Shoreseine & Boatseine.
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Seerfishes (Kingseer, spottedseer,Wahoo)
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Highest production of 55,000t was in 1998. Seerfish species include S.commerson, S.guttatus & S.lineolatus.
The kingseer (S.commerson) fishery dominates southern areas and the spotted seer (S.guttatus) northern areas.
Fishing of juveniles rampant especially in trawls and the small mesh gillnets (Podivalai) off Tamilnadu coast.
Exploitation has reached optimum level in all the maritime states.

Tunas and Billfishes
Production shows an upward trend. Lowest 37,000 t in 1994 and highest 54,000 t in 2024. Mainly coastal tunas are caught but oceanic tunas not exploited to full potential. Coastal tunas include the little tunny, frigate tuna, bullet tuna, longtail tuna and the oriental bonito. Pole and line fishing done for skipjack and yellowfin in Lakshadweep.
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Monitoring of livebait fishery carried out at Minicoy & Agatti islands
Sprats dominated followed by apogonids and caesionids
vital to the success of the local skipjack fishery
Induced breeding of certain selected species being attempted
Anchovies contributed about 9% of the total marine fish production of India during the last decade.
White baits (Stolephorus spp.) are the most important component.
Important species include Stolephorus devisi, S.bataviensis, S.macrops, S.buccaneeri, S.indicus & S.commersoni.
The gold spotted anchovy Coilia dussumieri is an important component along the Maharashtra coast.
Trawl nets and Seines are used to catch the anchovies.
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Division organized a national workshop on SCOMBROIDS
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The workshop reviewed
the status of research on scombroids
critical analysis of the status of scombroid fishery in India
suggested future lines of research for scientific development, conservation and management of the scombroid resources of the Indian EEZ
Prceedings of the workshop are in Press
The Indian oil sardine Sardinella longiceps (Valenciennes) an annotated bibliography CMFRI Spl. Publication 48
The Indian Mackerel Rastrelliger kanagurta (Cuvier) an annotated bibliography CMFRI Spl. Publication 52.
The Ribbon fishes of the family Trichiuridae in India Memoir 1. Marine Biological Association of India.
Tuna Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone of India: Biology and Stock Assessment. CMFRI Bulletin No. 36.
Resources of Tunas and related species and their fisheries in the Indian Ocean. CMFRI Bulletin No. 32.
Proceedings of the National Conference on Tunas. CMFRI, Kochi, 1989.
Pelagic sharks in the Indian seas- Their exploitation trade management and conservation.CMFRI Spl. Publication No. 70.
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development of forecast models for multispecies/multigear fishery
correlation of oceanographic and biotic parameters with availability and abundance of major pelagic fish stocks
studies on stock recruitment relationship
survey and assessment of mesopelagic resources in the EEZ and contiguous seas
assessment of techno-economic viability of major oceanic pelagic fishing in Indian EEZ
tagging of oil sardine, mackerel and oceanic tunas
development of hatchery technology for seed production of tuna live-baits and marine ornamental fishes
creating awareness among fishermen and the industry on the conservation and management needs of coastal resources.
S.No Name Designation Area of work
1 Dr.N.Gopalakrishna Pillai Principal Scientist & Head of the Division Pelagic Fisheries
2 Dr.A.A.Jayaprakash Principal Scientist Pelagic Fisheries
3 Ms.U.Ganga Scientist Pelagic Fisheries