• India’s coastal and marine habitats encompass a variety of ecosystems such as mangroves, coral reefs, sea grasses, salt marshes, mud flats, estuaries, lagoons, and a diverse array of flora and fauna.
  • Despite their ecological significance and contribution to the national economy, these resources have not received adequate protection and face numerous threats.
  • The World Bank-financed Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, part of the national coastal zone management programme, seeks to balance development and the protection of sensitive ecosystems.

Vision of New India by 2030

  • Development of a manned submersible to carry three people to a depth of 6,000 meters in the ocean, equipped with scientific sensors and tools to explore deep-sea mining possibilities.
  • Establishment of an Integrated Mining System for extracting Polymetallic Nodules from a 6,000-meter depth in the central Indian Ocean.
  • Undertaking bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna, including microbes, and conducting studies on the sustainable utilization of deep-sea bio-resources to aid in the documentation and conservation of deep-sea ecology.

Legislative and Policy Measures

  • Legal protection for many aquatic species under India’s Wild Life Protection Act of 1972, with 31 significant Marine Protected Areas established under this act.
  • The National Committee on Mangroves, Wetlands, and Coral Reefs, established in 1993, provides policy advice to the government regarding marine species.
  • The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification (1991 and its subsequent editions) restricts development activities and waste disposal in fragile coastal habitats.
  • Launch of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) aimed at the sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector with key objectives:
  • Maximizing fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive, and equitable manner.
  • Establishing a robust fisheries management and regulatory framework.


Local community involvement is crucial for effective marine resource conservation. The Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE) is executing a national R&D programme on Marine Living Resources (MLR) with a Societal Services component to support fishermen, especially in the Lakshadweep Islands.

India promotes sustainable marine fisheries activities through various initiatives, including the development of fisheries management plans, establishment of Integrated Modern Coastal Fishing Villages, promotion of Sagar Mitra, installation of bio-toilets in fishing vessels, provision of communication and tracking devices, and livelihood support for fisher families during fish ban periods.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 15, 2024