Mapping of Deep-Sea and Distant Water Fishery (DSDWF) resources

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Deep sea and distant water fishes are rapidly gaining importance as potential fishery resources, the reason being that the inshore fishery alone can no longer satisfy the growing demand for fish. Exploratory fishery surveys conducted in deeper waters of the EEZ pointed out the presence of unexploited deep sea fish resources outside the shelf area/continental slope region, which have immense scope for commercial scale exploitation. Generating information on the availability and habitat ecology of demersal fauna, the meso-pelagic low value fishes like Myctophids and the studies on Tuna Fishery emphasising on its early life stages, especially on the near reef abundance of egg/larvae around Lakshadweep waters are the proposed activities under the scheme. Advisory on long term sustainable exploitation of these resources are possible to generate after obtaining adequate details of the stock size, gear selectivity parameters, migratory roots and growth parameters. The studies under this scheme include (i) Mapping of demersal fishery resources between 200 and 1000m depth zones of Indian EEZ, (ii) Studies on the Myctophid resources in the central Arabian Sea, and (iii) Tuna Fishery Forecast System (TUFFS). As a multi-institutional activity, the major achievements made so far include;
  • Terrace off Trivandrum (1000 m depth region) in the south eastern Arabian Sea found to be supporting unique deep sea biodiversity in terms of its average faunal size. A total of 80 species were recorded from this bathyal region.
  • Life history traits and population parameters of deep sea fishes
  • Eco-morphology of deep sea fish assemblages.
  • Studies on the species and stock discrimination using otolith morphology.
  • Otolith atlas of deep sea fishes from Indian EEZ
  • Age and growth determination of deep sea fishes using otolith
  • Demarcation of tuna fishing ground around the Oceanic Islands in Indian waters
  • On-off shore and near reef abundance of fish larvae with special emphasis to the family scombridae
  • New species and records from Indian EEZ
  • Delineation of new trawling grounds along the Indian EEZ.
  • Survey and resources assessment of Myctophid resources along Arabian Sea and Central Indian Ocean