The ocean water covers seven-tenths of the earth's surface\ud with a mean depth of 4000 meters (Colin Nicol, 1960). This tremendous\ud expanse and depth are inhabited by living organisms which\ud are partially exploited for the livelihood of the ever increasing\ud world population. However, the oceans are not evenly populated\ud throughout their extent. The density and total volume of living\ud creatures are the greatest in coastal waters. The food of all\ud animals in the sea is ultimately derived from marine plants\ud including phytoplankton and seaweeds. At present, the growing\ud population of the world is badly in need of food grains and also\ud of animal protein which is rich in fishes.\ud Hindu Religion considers fish as one of the incarnations\ud of God and is called "Matsyavathara" in Sanskrit. Va luable\ud information is available regarding fish, in the great epics of\ud India, in stone carvings and paintings . History of India also\ud has a lot of information on fish, its trade and fisher-folk.\ud Information is also available about salt-fish trade in the west\ud Coast of India which has been carried out as early as i n the 18th\ud century. Traditionally fishing has been the principal occupation\ud for the livelihood of a section of the population living along\ud coastal areas
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