Fisheries in West Bengal - #SectorUpdates
West Bengal has around 158 km coastline, 777 sq km in shore area, 1813 sq km offshore area and 17049 sq km continental shelf collectively considered as marine fishing ground. The marine fisheries zone of West Bengal has enormous potential with respect to commercial fishes, due to influx of nutrients laden water in Bay of Bengal through creeks and canals of the Sunderbans. Different welfare schemes taken up by the Fisheries department, Government of West Bengal include: Housing for Fishermen, distribution of mechanized and non-mechanized boats, fish drying platform, sinking of submersible etc. Due to vast untapped resource coupled with precious catch, good market value and good source of livelihood in West Bengal, there is a steep growth in marine fishing. However, steep growth is causing overcrowding of fishing fleet, over exploitation, loss of habitat of valuable fishes, confliction between traditional and mechanized fishing. However, certain measures need to taken to improve the fisheries sector in West Bengal such as complete ban on use of plastic bags in sea, development of more landing and berthing facility along with specific entry and exit channel to avoid congestion in river mouth, formulation of guideline on maximum of permissible engine capacity against size of boat, mandatory training for engine drivers on sea safety and operation of vessels.