What Was LOP? Blue Revolution: India Second Largest Fish Producing Country (Important)

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With removal of “Letter of Permit” or “L. O. P.” system in the Indian E. E. Z since January 2017, overall fish production has increased to approximately 18.86 % in comparison to the last three years & inland fisheries sector has registered a growth of 26 % .

Chart of New Targets for Fish Exports

What is LOP?

  • Globally, one fishery in four around the world collapsed in the past 50 years due to unsustainable fishing practices.
  • This has led to rampant illegal fishing across oceans- plundering of marine resources of countries like India by technically advanced countries like Taiwan- especially for sashimi and sushi
  • Government՚s reaction to such illegal competition was Letter of Permit (LoP) scheme initiated in 2002.
  • Aimed to modernize Indian fishing by buying used deep sea fishing vessels from Taiwan and Thailand, and after having them registered in India.
  • Allowed for a three year deferred payment system under which 10 per cent of the value of the vessel needed to be paid in order to obtain the license.
  • Earlier “Charter Scheme” allowed fishermen to simply hire foreign vessels, fish with them in Indian waters and then return the vessels to their respective countries.
  • Charter vessels were however impossible to track- amount of catch and where it was sold, thus allowing foreigners to fish in Indian waters.

Murari Committee

The Murari Committee in 1997 urged the Ministry of Agriculture to suspend all licenses for charter vessels.

Problems with LOP Scheme

Even under this new foreign vessels come to India, fake their registration papers, use shell companies, fish in Indian waters and export their catch by transshipping at mid sea and leave our seas and anglers poorer.

New Methods to Protect Indian Fisherman and Territories

  • Besides removing LOP, specific decisions were taken to safeguard the interests of traditional fishermen in the area of EEZ beyond 12 nautical miles regulated by the Government of India
  • Traditional fishers are exempted from the fishing ban implemented during monsoon period in the EEZ Use of LED lights and other artificial lights for fishing as well as practice of bull-trailing or pair-trailing are now completely banned since 10th November, 2017.
  • Duration of fishing ban has been increased from 47 days to 61 days, with the consent of all coastal State Governments.

Blue Revolution

  • Main aim of Blue Revolution Scheme is to increase the fish production and productivity to up to 8 % annual growth rate and to produce 15 million tonnes of fish by 2020.
  • Scheme expected to contribute significantly for doubling the income of farmers and fishermen by 2022.
  • Scheme launched with the outlay of ₹ 300 crore for the integrated development of the Fisheries sector
  • Aims to benefit about 1.5 crore employed in the fisheries sector for their livelihood.

Data from Indian Fishing Sector

  • India has become second largest fish producing Country
  • Combining the production of all types of fisheries (capture and culture) , the total fish production in the country reached about 11.41 million tonnes in 2016 - 17.
  • India has a fleet of 2.48 lakh fishing vessels, and the country has exported fish products amounting to US $ 5.78 billion (₹ 37,871 crore) during 2016 - 17 highest from India.
  • Globally, the value of export of annual fish products ranges from 85 to 90 billion dollars.
  • More than 25 % of the world՚s protein is obtained from fish, and human population consumes more than 100 million metric tonnes of fish per year in the form of food.

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