Fish consumption in India projected to double by 2048

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Fish consumption in India expected to hit 26.50 metric tons by 2048 if current consumption trends continue

fish consumption in India
A new study found that the majority of Indians (72.1 percent) incorporate fish into their diets, and if this trend continues, fish consumption in India is projected to double by 2048. Photo credit: WorldFish.

A new study projects that fish consumption in India will double by 2048 if current consumption trends persist.

The study, Fish Consumption in India: Patterns and Trends, investigated the dynamics of fish consumption in India from 2005 to 2021. Findings revealed that a whopping 72.1 percent of Indians – about 966.9 million people – incorporate fish into their diets. It also emphasized that the significant growth in fish consumption across India has been driven by population growth, increased wealth and shifting dietary consumption patterns.

Findings also revealed that Tripura, a northeast state in India, eats the most fish (99.35 percent), while Punjab (26.45 percent), Haryana (20.55 percent) and Rajasthan (22.5 percent) eat the least, reflecting dietary preferences and possibly the availability and cultural acceptance of fish. WorldFish Country Lead for India Dr. Arun Padiyar has advocated for the integration of fish consumption into public health and nutrition strategies.

“Adopting holistic and adaptable policies to enhance value chains can ensure the sustainability of our aquatic food systems and improve nutritional outcomes,” he said.

Using comprehensive, nationally representative surveys conducted by the government, the research was a joint effort between ICAR and WorldFish, alongside the International Food Policy Research Institute. It also involved various Government of India institutions, such as the National Fisheries Development Board under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and the Marine Products Export Development Authority, along with other prominent organizations.

India is the third largest fish-producing nation, contributing about 8 percent to global fish production, and holds the position of the second-largest aquaculture producer. However, in terms of per capita fish food supply, India is positioned 129th among 183 countries. Per capita fish consumption increased 81.43 percent, from 4.9 kg to 8.89 kg, with a 4.05 percent annual growth rate in the last 15 years. Among fish-eating populations, annual per capita consumption grew 66 percent.

The study forecasts that if current trends persist, fish consumption in India is projected to double and reach 26.50 million metric tons (MT) in roughly 2047–2048, with annual per capita fish consumption expected to reach 16.07 kg.

“Comprehensive research is essential to grasp how fish consumption intersects with socio-demographic and economic factors at the household level,” said Dr. J.K. Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries Science) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). “Recognizing the crucial role of fish in ensuring food security and combating undernutrition is vital for the health of our nation.”

Read the full study.


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