Guidelines for Fishing Operations in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone







Deep Sea Fishing

Fishing activities beyond 12 nautical miles from the shore line (Territorial waters)



Deep Sea Fishing Vessels

Fishing vessels of 20 meter over all length and above.




Any Indian entrepreneur, partnership, Private Ltd. company, Public Ltd. company and Corporation




Exclusive Economic Zone of India which is upto 200 nautical miles from the shore line and beyond & adjacent territorial water which comes under the jurisdiction of Union Government




The code of conduct for responsible fisheries circulated by the FAO of the United Nations



A recent revalidation of marine fisheries potential has shown that the fishing pressure on the stock in near shore waters has gone up considerably and signs of over exploitation in respect of more number of species is becoming increasingly evident. The potential available in the EEZ is exploited only by about 70% where the possibility of putting in extra effort exists.

2.   As the Indian deep sea fishing industry has not been fully equipped in terms of technology and finance, to take up this venture by itself, the Government of India had been taking several steps in the past to finance deep sea fishing ventures, to bring in appropriate technologies and to build trained technical man power etc. As part of these efforts several joint venture initiatives and Indian owned deep-sea fishing ventures have come up.

3. Besides this the need for ensuring sustainability in the operation of these deep sea vessel, it has to be ensured that their operations do not collide with the interest of other stake-holders.  Compliance of CCRF and other such international rules and regulations in the management of fish stock in the EEZ has also to be ensured by these vessels.

4. In order to satisfy the various requirements as above and to ensure proper conduct of fishing operations in the EEZ by all vessels flying Indian flag to the guidelines are notified as here under. These guidelines become effective from the date of issue and would cover the operations of the 200 shrimpers already operating in Indian waters.   


Broad Guidelines for operation of Indian Deep Sea Fishing Vessels in Indian EEZ

 Permission in writing (LOP) is required from the nodal Ministry for operating any fishing vessel in Indian EEZ. Taking into consideration the present level of exploitation, presently permission is accorded only for the following fishing methods:

a) Long Lining for tuna;

b)  Tuna Purse Seining

c)  Squid jigging and squid hand lining.

d)   Mid-water pelagic trawler

e)   Trap Fishing

   f)  Hook and Line Fishing.

  g)  Pole and Line Fishing

2. The operation of Indian deep sea fishing vessels will be governed by the executive orders issued/to be issued from time to time.

3. The area of operation of the deep sea fishing vessels will be regulated by the instructions/orders issued by the GOI from time to time.

4. Fishing would not be allowed between the coast line and the line joining the following points:

Off Orissa, West Bengal Coast

(i)  19o 20` N-85o30`E

(ii) 20o-86o56`E

(iii)  20o42` N-88oE

(iv)  21o8` N-89o7`E

(v)    21o16` N-89o14`E

Off Maharashtra and Gujarat Coast line

 (vi)  22o 54’ N – 67o 33E

 (vii)  21o 33’ N – 68o 56E

(viii) 19o 2’ N – 72o 

(ix)  18o 33’ N – 72o E

 (x)  18o N – 72o 31 E


Off Kerala and Tamil Nadu Coast line

(xi)  7o 45’ N – 77o E

(xii)  7o 45’ N – 78o E

(xiii) 7o 30’ N – 78o E

(xiv)  7o 30’ N – 77o E

2.  Fishing will be permitted only beyond 24 nautical miles between the Nizampatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Paradeep Port (Orissa).

3.  For proper monitoring of the operations of Indian deep sea fishing vessels and sea safety point of view, it is mandatory for all deep sea fishing vessel operators to report their vessels’ position, intended course and speed and area of operation with latitude and longitude to Coast Guard at 0800 hrs daily or any other time specified by the authority.

4.  Date of commencement of voyage likely period together with crew list should be furnished to Coast Guard and Fishery Survey of India, Mumbai before each sailing.  Intimation on completion of each voyage shall also be furnished to these agencies on return.

5.  Mid-sea transfer of fish catch and bunkering will be governed by Reserve Bank of India regulations in this regard.

6.   The operator shall furnish an undertaking (Annexure-B) to the effect that (a) they will not resort to any type of fishing other than what has been permitted to them (b) the company will not exploit any endangered species of marine turtles, mammals and fish species and the vessel will not resort to Bottom Trawling/Pair Trawling/Bull Trawling and (c) will not violate the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF).

7.   The operator should take clearance from the Government for assignment of foreign crew.  Details in respect of each foreign crew (name, father’s name, passport no., nationality and designation) should be submitted to this Ministry at least 2 weeks ahead of their assignment.

8.   The letter of permission should not be transferred to any other company or individual unless specifically approved by the Government.

9.   The vessel should engage in no activity other than fishing in the Indian EEZ and should confine to the area demarcated for their operation and should not encroach into areas demarcated for mechanised and traditional fishing craft as prescribed by the Central/State/UT Government through Marine Fishing Regulation Acts (MFRAs) notification/executive order, etc. from time to time and will not be permitted to fish in the areas mentioned in clause No.3 hereinabove.  The vessels will not be allowed to fish in Indian EEZ at any particular coast at any particular time during such ban periods as  notified by the Government from time to time.

10. All the vessels should be fitted with INMARSAT ‘C’ or comparable terminal with GPS facility as prescribed by the Government.  Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) shall be set up by each vessel within the period to be stipulated by the Govt. of India.

11.  The base port for operation of vessel would be any one on east coast and one on the west coast.

12. Government reserves the right to inspect the vessel and machinery and equipments on the vessel and shore based processing plants of the company at any time without notice.

13.  The operator should submit the voyage report in the prescribed format (as at Annexure ‘A’) to Fishery Survey of India, Mumbai within 15 days from the date of completion of each voyage.

14.  The vessel at any time, should not engage in fishing within the territorial waters of India.

15.  Any change in foreign crew is to be reported to the Coast Guard Headquarters.

16.  The operator should give prior intimation to this Ministry to leave the Indian EEZ/ to any foreign port.

17.  In addition to these guidelines any executive orders and regulatory measures notified by the Union/State Governments regarding the fishing operations in the Indian waters from time to time would be binding on these vessels.  Government reserves the right to impose any other conditions from time to time.  Penalty will be levied for any violation, which shall be decided by the Government.  Besides, the letter of permission is also liable to be cancelled without notice if any one or more of these conditions are not followed or violated and shall have the right to seize the vessel.



Format for submission of Voyage Data by Indian owned Registered Deep Sea Fishing Vessels


Name & address of the company/ operator




Certificate of Incorporation number, date and place




Name of the fishing vessel, its registration number and port of registry




Type of fishing proposed




Major specifications:


(a)  (a)    Length:

(b)  (b)   Breadth:

(c)  (c)    HP of Engine:

(d)  (d)   Gross Tonnage:

(e)  (e)    Net Tonnage:

(f)   (f)     Fish hold capacity:

(g)  (g)    Fuel oil capacity:

(h)  (h)    Year of built:




Total crew strength


(a)  (a)    Foreign nationals (no.)

(b)  (b)   Indian nationals (no.)




Financial Year……….



Gear specification : Type of net __________                   Head rope length (m) ___________

Codend mesh size (mm) ________________












Haul No.
































Depth (m)











End shooting










Start hauling










Duration of haul(hrs)










Speed (knots)










Total catch (kg)










Species composition








































Ribbon fish




















Seer fish










Yellowfin tuna










Skipjack tuna










Little tuna










Frigate mackerel










Other tunas




















Horse mackerel




















Oil sardine










Lesser sardines






























Other fishes










*Deep sea lobsters






















* for trap fishing please specify species


Name of the company

Financial Year……….





Vessel name ­­­­­­__________________                               Specification of gear_______

OAL_________ GRT __________                                   Bait used ________________

Duration of voyage_____________



Hooks operated

Area of


Total catch

Catch composition (Kg)




































































































































































































































































































































                                                                                    Name of the venture company



Affidavit on `10/- stamp paper



            We, M/s …………………………………… hereby undertake that our permitted vessel(s) will not indulge in shrimping wherever applicable, pair trawling (Bull Trawling), oceanographic research and fishing of endangered species as notified under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.  We also undertake that our vessel(s) will operate only for type of fishing permitted in the letter of permission (LOP) and not for any other type of fishing.


            In the case of violation of above as well as any terms and conditions of the letter of permission, Government will have all the rights to impose penalty and  seize our vessel(s) and cancel the letter of permission.



     (with stamp)


(to be attested by Public Notary)




Government of India

Ministry of Agriculture

Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying


                                                                        Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.

                                                                   Dated the 6th September, 2004




            The Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, being the nodal Department for developing fisheries in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) vide Entry 57 list 1 of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution in exercise of the powers conferred orders hereunder prescribe the amended new Guidelines for conduct of fishing operation in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone.  The guidelines will be binding on all deep-sea fishing vessels operating in the Indian EEZ from the date of issue of this order.


            Any violation of the guidelines by the deep sea fishing vessels would be viewed seriously and penalty/punishment as deemed fit would be imposed on the defaulter. 



                                                                                             (P. K. Pattanaik)

                                                  Joint Secretary to the Government of India



(i)  Secretaries incharge of Fisheries of all coastal States/Uts

 (ii) Secretary, Ministry of Defence

(iii) Secretary, Ministry of Commerce

(iv) Secretary, Ministry of Home affairs

(v)  Secretary, Ministry of Shipping

(vi) Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs

(vii) Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice & CA.

(viii) Secretary, Ministry of Communication

(ix) Secretary, Deptt. of Ocean Development

(x)  Directorate General of Foreign Trade

(xi)  Director General, Coast Guards

(xii)  Director General Shipping

(xiii) Chairman, Central Board of Excise & Customs,

(xiv) Chairman, MPEDA

(xv)  DDG, ICAR

(xvi) DG, FSI

(xvii) President, Association of Indian Fisheries Industries

(xviii) Secretary, Deep Sea Fishing Industries Association

(xix)  All deep sea fishing companies

(xx)   All joint venture companies