Addressing fisheries governance and management in the Andaman Islands

Aarthi Sridhar, Naveen Namboothri, Sahir Advani

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have rich marine resources that support a range of fisheries across the length of the islands. Fishers from different parts of India have been settled in these islands as a result of which there is a diversity of fisherfolk communities in this region. The islands are thus characterised by multi-faceted fisheries, and fisheries governance needs to be tailored to balance the diversity of communities, biodiversity and fishing practices.

The shellfish and bêche-de-mer fisheries catered solely to foreign markets and even today, a significant proportion of the landed fish stocks are exported to Southeast Asia resulting in fisheries on the verge of collapse. The enthusiastic promotion of newer technologies such as the live fish trade and tuna long lining, and the unchecked growth of specialised fisheries like that for grouper, now threaten to dominate most of the islands’ fisheries.

In collaboration with the Andaman Nicobar Environment Team, Dakshin has created the first detailed profile of fisheries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, focusing on investigating and highlighting the peculiarity of its governance systems. This includes details on fishing communities, their practices, mechanisms of fisheries governance such as the operation of markets, subsidies in fisheries, implementation of regulations and on management approaches for sustainable fisheries in the present context.

Apart from having conducted a detailed profile of the fisheries governance systems within the Andaman Islands, Dakshin engaged in discussions with a number of fish exporters, traders and fisher federations to discuss the problems identified with subsidies, regulation and governance of fisheries in these islands.


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