The Union Territory of Puducherry with its unique French Heritage and diversified linguistic culture comprising of four region viz., Puducherry, Karaikal and Yanam in East coast and Mahe on the West coast with a total coastal line of 45 kms with 1000 sq.km of continental shelves enriched with marine fisheries potential. The Department of Fisheries and Fishermen Welfare has established during the year 1954 i.e. after de-facto merger of former French colony of Pondicherry into the Union of India with an objective to augment marine & inland fish production and also to cater the needs of the fishing community so as to uplift their socio economic status. Amongst the 95,467 nos of fishermen population 28,966 nos. of fishermen are actively engaged in fishing from 27 nos of marine fishing villages and 23 nos of inland fishing villages/hamlets scattered in and around Union Territory of Puducherry. This Union Territory is also endowed with 1400 Ha of inland water area in the form of Ponds and Tanks suitable for both capture and culture fishery. 800 Ha of Brackish water areas are available for undertaking Brackish water Prawn culture.
Fishery Sector has become a vital sector enriched with a source of livelihood for fishermen and also generating employment to a large extent of the society as well as sharing for national food security and valuable foreign exchange earnings. Under marine sector, coastal fisheries in many parts of the country having reached a saturation level and unexploited potential which lies in the deep sea has to be tapped up by adopting diversified method of fishing. It is imperative to modernize the sector with diversified method of fishing with various new components related to exploitation of deep sea oceanic fishery resources. To exploit the deep sea fishing resources, this department is extending subsidy assistance to fishermen for procurement of steel/ FRP hulled boats.
In order to regulate the fishing efforts and to conserve the fishery resources, this department is regularizing the fishing crafts operated in the Union Territory by adopting uniform online registration, colour coding and also ensuring the sea safety equipments and marine risk insurance for safety of fishermen and fishing crafts. For conservation of fishing resources, this department is adopting uniform fishing ban during April 15th - May 31st on the east coast and June 15th to July 31st on the west coast besides making the fishermen aware of the importance of Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishery.
In order to supply protein rich food, the department is undertaking river ranching and adopting integrated freshwater aquaculture under RKVY and National Mission for protein supplements besides providing input subsidy for fish farmers and Grant in aid for 2 Fish farmers development agencies. The capacity building on Freshwater aquaculture is being imparted by Fish Farmers Development Agency. 250 acres of fresh water areas will be brought under fish culture by granting input subsidy @ Rs.5,000/- per acre. Latest technology on culture of Litopenaeus vannaemi , sea bass and crab fattening etc are also being inculcated to fish farmers by this department.
Various development & welfare oriented schemes are implemented from time to time with the objectives of augmenting Marine, Freshwater and Coastal fishery production as well as for uplifting the socio-economic status of the fisher folk with due focus on safeguarding the interest of all sectors of fisher folk and for conserving the Marine, Inland and Brackish Water resources on a sustainable basis. Special thrusts were focused to accomplish the above goals through the successive plan periods. As a result of it, the socio-economic status of the fishermen has developed considerably.
To encourage and motivate the fishermen students to persuade their school studies, cash awards will be given to students who secure 75% and above in Hsc ad SSLC. Fishermen youth will be deputed to CIFNET institutes to undergo training in vessel navigation course and marine fitter course . Fishing Harbour at Yanam and Mahe are under various stages of construction and steps to complete construction will be taken early. Under post harvest hygienic handling of fish, this department will provide ice boxes at subsidies cost to fish vendors.
Under welfare measures to fishermen, this department is extending Old Age Pension to 6022 fishermen , financial assistance during uniform fishing ban as well as free clothing and cash assistance during lean season to 20,400 fishermen families besides extending financial assistance @ Rs.2,000/- to the families of deceased old age pensioners to meet out their funeral expenses, financial assistance @ Rs.1,50,000/- and Rs.2,00,000/- to the families of Missing fishermen and deceased fishermen respectively, while fishing. Fishermen are also supplied with fishery requisites at subsidized rates. The strengthening of fisheries co-operatives is undertaken by extending share capital contribution , loan and Grant in aid assistance. To further strengthen the welfare activity measures, it is proposed to establish Fisheries development Corporation , Grant in aid to Pondicherry State Fishermen Co-operative Federation, Karaikal Fishermen Co-operative Marketing Union, Fish Farmers Development Agency and Fishing Harbour Management Societies, is extended to promote fishery wealth, value addition and for maintenance and management of fishing harbors.