Population explosion isa source of increasing concern for all countries of the world, because theproblem of providing food to billions of people is becoming very difficultevery day. The lack of food for the people has been one of the major concernsin many parts of the world including India. Land resources are not at all sufficientfor meeting the actual food requirement of the growing population. The utilizationof marine food resources can effectively support quite a bigger population ofthe world .Fisheries distribute more than 150 million tonnes of food and around15 per cent of the dietary to 7 billion people living in the world.
Sea resourcesand inland water resources are renewable, compared to agricultural resources,and replenished year after year. They represent self-sustaining ‘fund’ resourcewhich can be profitably exploited year after year within the maximum limits ofits economic exploitation. Almost 70 per cent of the Earth is covered with sea water.It occupies an area of 510 million sq km. Sea water is twice as productive peracre as any area of the land. It is not possible for land resources to supplythe animal protein found in fish in rice eating countries, where people sufferfrom malnutrition, fish food is one with high nutritional value. Therefore advancementin fisheries has received considerable significance in recent years throughoutthe world. It is a fact that the main weapon in war on starvation could bedeveloped by supplementing agriculture with ‘pisciculture’.
Fishing is one of theoldest occupations of man. It is a major industry all over the world. Fishingis one of the oldest means of livelihood. Since three-fourth of the earth’ssurface is covered by oceans, people living in the coastal areas went to sea insearch of food. As the demand for food increased, fishing activity expandedfrom shallow water to deep-water. In earlier time, fishing was considered as away of life, as fishermen had to work with the unpredictable natural conditionsfor their livelihood.The critical problem ofthe world today is shortage of conventional food. Rise in demand for food andrise in food prices are still the common problems of many developing countries,including India.
The race between population and land based agriculturalproduction still persisting in many parts of the world despite sometechnological improvements that have been brought out in raising theagricultural productivity. The belief that food from land resources will beable to support the ever increasing population is relatively becomingparadoxical and “Malthusian Pessimism” still pervades in many parts of theworld presuming that land resources could produce enough food grains byimproving the technology, it would not help in producing nutritious andbalanced diet required for individual. Even in developed countries, like Japan,U.S.A, and European countries, the fish meet most of their food requirements.
The per capita consumption of fish is very high in these countries compared tothe developing countries. The problem of ‘Protein Gap” at present is more acutein India and other developing countries. This gap can be filled up by producingfish food from the world seas.Fish and other forms ofsea food which are available in large quantities in the oceans of the worldwould be able to meet the food needs of mankind.
Compared to the foodproduction from land resources, marine fishery resources are not only selfrenewing and replenishing but also can be constantly harvested year after year.Besides being vitalsource of food supply for people all around the globe, it provides employmentto million. They are also a vital item of trade for coastal areas.
The generaldevelopment of the sea food industry leads to the development of ancillaryindustries such as fish net making, ship building, metal works, storage andrefrigeration units and transporting units. The development of these industrieswill raise the standard of living of the people. Capture fisheries andaquaculture supplied the world with about 148 million tonnes of fish in 2010,of which about 128 million tones was utilized as food for people. Withsustained growth in fish production and improved distribution channels, worldfish supply has grown dramatically in the last five decades, with an averagegrowth rate of 3.2 per cent per year in the period 1961- 2009, outpacing theincrease of 1.
7 per cent per year in the world’s population.Fish and fisheryproducts are among the most traded food commodities worldwide. In 2010, theyaccounted for more than half of the total value of traded commodities in Greenland, Seychelles, Faeroe Islands and Vanuatu.
In the same year, fishery traderepresented about 10 per cent of total agricultural exports and 1 per cent ofworld merchandise trade in value terms.The fishing industryhas a vital role to play in all round development of Indian economy. Fisheriesdevelopment has been assigned a very important place in the economicdevelopment plans of India. Surrounded by sea on three sides and possessed bigrivers, bays, lakes and numerous artificially built canals, reservoirs, tanksand ponds, India possesses ideal condition for improvement of fisheries. Organizationof this industry on modern lines will go a long way in solving the food problemin the country and improving the lot of fishermen who constitute quite asignificant part of India’s population. Indian fisheries are animportant component of global fisheries. It is both marine and inland. Inlandfisheries are the culture and capture of fisheries in fresh water.
It is alsocalled fresh water fisheries. The fresh water catch is more potential than thatof the sea. Culture and capture of fishes in the sea is called marinefisheries. Fisheries sector plays an important role in the socio-economicdevelopment of India, generating employment for a large coastal population.
InTamil Nadu also fishing plays an important role.The generaldevelopment of fishing industry leads to the development of ancillaryindustries, fish net making, ship building, repairing units, metal works andengineering units, packing and packaging units, storage and refrigeration unitsetc. The development of these industries will raise the standard of living ofthe people. The fishery sector in India is interrelated with the economy,particularly with the rural sector of the country, which consists of largenumber of backward and economically weaker section of the society. Fisherysector provides the opportunity to bridge the gap between the availability andrequirements of high quality protein, a subsidiary food for internalconsumption at reasonable prices and it has export potential also. Consideringthe significance of fisheries, the planning commission of India focused specialcare on this sector.
Tuticorin, the PearlCity, is one of the major harbours in India. The headquarters of Tuticorin districtis Tuticorin. Tuticorin district formed out of the old Tirunelveli district in1986. The freedom struggle story cannot be narrated unless we mention the supremesacrifices of the well-known freedom fighter and the sons of the district likeV.O.C. who introduced the first Swadeshi Ship ‘Gallileo’ to the Tuticorin portand the great freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman who fought bravely against theBritish.
The people’s poet Subramania Bharathi and the radical activistVanchinathan were also the proud sons of the soil. Tuticorin is customarilyknown for its pearl fishing and shipping industries.Tuticorin has a uniqueposition along the Gulf of Mannar in the east coast of India in view of thefacilities available for the development and exploitation of the marinefisheries of the region. The district started functioning as the twentiethdistrict in Tamil Nadu with effect from October 20, 1980 with Thoothukudi asits head quarters.Tuticorin is in Southof Tamil Nadu about 590 kilometres south west of Chennai and is geographicallylocated in the Gulf of Mannar.
The climate of Tuticorin is extremely hot andhumid. It is situated in the extreme south-eastern corner of Tamil Nadu stateand bounded on the north by the districts of Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar andRamanathapuram, on the east and south-west by the districts of Tirunelveli.The area of thedistrict is 4,621 Sqkm and the population is 17,38,376. The district has ThreeRevenue Divisions, Eight Taluks, Twelve Blocks, One Corporation, TwoMunicipalities, Nineteen Town Panchayats and 480 Revenue Village, Six Constituenciesand One Lokshaba are in the district.
The density of population per Sq.km is378 as against 555 for the state. The sex ratio is 1024 female for every 1000males.
The percentage of literacy is 86.52. Fifty eight per cent of the peoplelive in rural areas. The district has a SC population of 2.
8 lakhs, which isaround 18 per cent of the population. Male Literacy is 91.42.per cent.
FemaleLiteracy is 81.77 per cent.The present study ischosen in view of the principles of academicians towards applied research insocial sciences. Academicians are interested in problems associated withlong-term policies which focus on bringing about improvements in standard ofliving of vulnerable sections of the population, creation of employmentopportunities and thereby generating additional incomes for the poor, narrowingregional imbalances etc.
The choice of the topicis quite relevant as fishermen constitute one of the weaker sections of thesociety and fish protein is one of the cheapest sources for our populationwhere staple food is rice. Further the unexploited fishery resources offer vastscope for sustained employment opportunities and development of fisheries, iftaken up in the right direction in a coastal district like Tuticorin. Thiswould contribute to narrowing regional imbalance.The in depth of thestudy will facilitate to highlight various issues connected with production,marketing and operation problems of fishing industry. In these contexts, thestudy assumes its significance.