SAMUDRA News AlertsGlobal meet on mackerel genetics

Fisheries experts from eight countries will meet in Kochi, India, on Tuesday for...

Sea turtles endangered by artisanal fish...

Sea turtles are threatened by ongoing artisanal fishing, due to incidental by-ca...

Evicted Indian fisherfolk seek restorati...

Around 10,000 poor fishermen who were evicted from Jambudwip, an isolated island...

Fisheries is an important sector in India--it provides...

employment to millions of people and contributes to food security of the country. With a coastline of over 8,000 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq km,


India's total marine fisher population was 3.57 mn, according to the 2005 census statistics. Of these, 0.9mn are active fishers, while 0.76 are involved in other allied sector activities. Besides, these there are fishers involved in the inland and aquaculture sector. Fish processing industries also provide a major source of employment, especially to women in rural areas. Currently there is no single legal framework covering the labour issues of fishworkers.

Some of the key issues on labour include: conditions of work, conditions of work on board fishing vessels, conditions of life, minimum age, safety at sea and social security. Besides these, Indian fishers are often arrested and detained in South Asian countries, for unauthorised fishing.


Migrant workers

Roshan, Manas. 2016. A Study of Migrant Fishers from Andhra Pradesh in the Gujarat Marine Fishing Industry. ICSF. 

 ICSF. 2016. Report of workshop on migrants workers- Andhra Pradesh. 

Legal framework

Welfare boards

Kerala State Fishermen Welfare Board

Tamil Nadu State Fishermen Welfare Board

Madhya Pradesh Fishermen Welfare Board

Chattisgarh Fishermen Welfare board

AP State Social Security Board For Unorganized Workers

Useful resources


ICSF Resources


  • 2010. On taking the fisheries industry onboard...for ratification of ILO C188. Fishing Chimes. Vol 30. No.9. December 2010.
  • Beena.D. Technological change and women workers: the case of fish processing industry in Kerala.
  • CEC. 2006. Proposed ILO standards for fishworkers: A handbook for trade unions. CEC, New Delhi. 2p.
  • Department of Social Work, Diocese of Rajkot. A study on the problems and prospects of migrant women workers in sea-food industries at Veraval, Junagadh, Gujarat State. 11p.
  • D'Mello, John. C. 1995. Blown under by the blue revolution: A study on women workers in the shrimp processing industry 1993-1995. CBCI Commission for labour.
  • Government of India. 2009. Social security measures in India. Economic Survey 2008-09, Ministry of Finance. Download
  • ILO questionnaire on work in the fishing sector: Ministry of Labour, Government of India and trade unions reply.
  • Kurien J. 1985. Fishworkers in Kerala: Profile of Conditions of Labour and Employment. Background note for Tripartite Study Group on Fishworkers. Department of Labour, Ministry of Labour and Rehabilitation, Government of India. .
  • Mathew S. 2005. Fishing for labour standards. Article in The Economic Times. 2p.
  • Platteau.J.Ph. and A. Abraham. An inquiry into quasi-credit systems in small-scale fishermen communities: the role of reciprocal credit and mixed contracts.
  • Pramanik S K. 1996. Women dry fishworkers in Sundarban: A look into their working spirit and levels of involvement. Man in India. 115-126pp.
  • Rajan.J.B.2002. Labour mobility in the small-scale fisheries sector of Kerala. Kerala Research Programme on Local Level Development Centre for Development Studies. Thiruvanathapuram.
  • Saha A et al. 2006. Occupational injury proneness in Indian women: A survey in fish processing industries. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 1:23. 9p.
  • Saha N et al. Marine product exports and its impact on female employment: A case study from West Bengal. Gender and Trade. 4p.
  • Samuel L. 2007. Women, work and fishing: An examination of the lives of fisherwomen in Kerala. South Asia Research, Vol. 27, No. 2. 205-227pp.
  • Sathyapalan J et al. 2008. Fishing fleet reduction and its livelihood implications - A case study of Palk Bay resource users in the East Coast of Tamil, Nadu, India. FAO. 76p.
  • Srivastava, Ravi and S.K. Sasikumar. 2003. An overview of migration in India, its impacts and key issues. DFID, UK.
  • Suresh Kurup et al. 2005. Lok Sabha questions: Ministry of labour and employment on work in fishing convention. Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India. 2p.
  • The Ministry of Labour. 1998. Report on the working and living conditions of workers in marine fishing industry in India. The Ministry of Labour, Government of India, 1998
  • The Ministry of Labour. 2001. Recommendations for improvement of the living and working conditions of women workers in the fish processing industry. Report of the task force constituted by the Ministry of Labour.
  • Warrier, M.V Shobana. Globalisation and women: New forms of work, survival strategies and images of migrant women workers in the fish processing industry in India.