In the Fisheries Sector Insurance is Under-Utilized.
The study says that compared to other sub-sectors of agriculture in the country, insurance in the fisheries sector is under-utilized.
According to the study by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), the sector has received little attention either at the Central or state levels, except for the presence of a few public insurance companies and cooperative bodies at the local level with limited scale of activity.
The study was conducted in the capture and culture sector in 14 fishing centres in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha and fish farmers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A CMFRI release said information collected from insurance companies and government departments was also analysed.
Study also says that apart from accident risks of marine fishermen, other major risks like loss and damage to fishing vessels and gear and damage to coastal assets of fishermen are covered only at a limited scale across the country, including Kerala.
For risks like large-scale decline in stock of fish species, damage of sea cages, loss of fish crops and damage to farm structures, there is no insurance policy exists in the country. It says accident risks of marine fishermen have a fair coverage in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, unlike other states.
While exposing the 'pathetic situation' in the sector, it found that the provision for vessel insurance, gear insurance and coastal asset insurance was quite low, with only one case of gear insurance reported from Kerala. A meagre 14 per cent of fishermen from Tamil Nadu reported enrolment to coastal asset insurance.
The study by scientists from CMFRI also found that vessel insurance was minimal compared to accident insurance. Lack of awareness among the fishing community on the need and benefits of insurance scheme was one of the major reasons behind the situation.