India Kerala deep-sea shrimp - trawl

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This FIP concentrates on the stocks of the following species: Heterocarpus chani, H. woodmasoni and Aristeus alcocki. For the pre-assessment, the management unit is the stock of these three species found in Kerala coastal waters, mainly operating in an area called Kollam bank. 

The fishery is a mixed trawl fishery, with each vessel carrying six or seven types of trawl gear, including bottom, midwater and pelagic trawls. Each vessel may catch 200 – 250kg of shrimp per tow. The target Heterocarpus shrimp are caught in around 200-300 metres depth, with Aristeus alcocki mainly taken at 250-300m. Other deep-sea shrimp are also landed in the fishery, with for example Solenocera hextii being significant in the catch from ~150 meters. Small amounts of cephalopods and deep-sea shark species are also landed by the same boats.   

There are 700 – 750 boats operated from Sakthikulangra, and less than 50 from Vypin, 20% of which go fishing for deep-sea shrimp. Trips last between four and ten days, landing their catch in the early mornings in Kollam, which is the nearest landing site to the fishing grounds. A single vessel may do two to three hauls a day, with a towing duration of two to three hours. The fishing season is between September to May, with peak fishing from November to January. The SW monsoon brings bad weather to the coast of Kerala, which can prevent the fishery from starting until mid-September in some cases, as it takes two to three days steaming to reach the fishing grounds (Dr. Rehka Devi Chakraborty, CMFRI, pers. comm.). As with other mechanised trawl fisheries, the deep-sea fishery is subject to a ban during the monsoon period.

The responsibility for marine fisheries in India is shared between the National (Central) and State governments. The national legal framework in India gives individual States control of the seas and living marine resources up to 12 nautical miles (nm) from the shore, while the Central Government has control from 12 nm to the 200 nm exclusive economic zone (EEZ) boundary. This fishery is managed by the Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala. 

According to the World Bank (2010) report, there are five major legal instruments of the Central government that directly govern marine fisheries and activities:

  • The Indian Fisheries Act, 1897;
  • Marine Products Export Development Authority Act 1972 (No. 13 of 1972);
  • The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of fishing by foreign vessels) Act, 1981 (No. 42 of 1981);
  • The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of fishing by foreign vessels) Rules, 1982;
  • The Operation of Deep Sea Fishing Vessels, 20m OAL and above, Notifications dated 14 December 2006.

State legislation is based on a model Act prepared by the central government in 1979 (World Bank, 2010) with each State developing its own marine fisheries legislation to manage fisheries in their respective area. In Kerala State, fisheries management is guided by the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1980 (KMFR Act). It was amended in 2017 and is in the process of being implemented across the State.

FIP Description 

This FIP concentrates on the stocks of the following species: Heterocarpus chani, H.

FIP Objective(s) 

Achieve MSC certification by 2024.

FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 3: FIP Implementation
Start and Projected End Dates
December 2019
December 2024
Next Progress Report Due 
Monday, February 28, 2022
Common Name 
Arabian Red Shrimp
Scientific Name
Aristeus alcocki
Common Name 
Deep Sea Shrimp
Scientific Name
Heterocarpus chani
Common Name 
Indian Nylon Shrimp
Scientific Name
Heterocarpus woodmasoni
Gear Type 
Bottom Trawl
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 51 (Indian Ocean, Western)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Geographic Scope 
Kerala, South-West region of India
Estimated Total FIP Landings 
4,199 metric tons
Estimated Total Fishery Landings 
5,491 metric tons
Landings Date 
December 2019

FIP at a Glance

32% 39% 29%
December 01, 2019
32% 39% 29%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
C Some Recent Progress
Actions Complete

This pie chart represents completed environmental actions. Non-completed environmental actions may contain completed sub-tasks that are not illustrated here. For more information on environmental action progress visit the Actions Progress tab.

  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Feb 2022
Target End Date
Dec 2024
Additional Impacts:

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Forum for Deep sea Shrimp Sustainability, Kerala, FDSSK
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Susanth Mallya
FIP Identification Number The FIP Identification Number is automatically generated by FisheryProgress when a FIP profile is created. While the number itself is not meaningful, they are used by NGOs, academia, and industry to refer to FIPs in a consistent way.