Kerala is situated on the southwest coast of the Indian sub continent with an area of about 38863 square kilometers , which makes about 1.27% of the Indian Territory. The state is separated from the rest of india by the western Ghats in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. Kerala has a Coastline of 589.5 kilometers, which forms 10% of india’s total coastline. With a coastline of over 590 Km., and an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 218536 Sq Km, Kerala has a significant marine fisheries sector that has long been an important source of occupation and livelihood for the coastal population of the state. It is estimated that about 8 lakh people earn their livelihood from capture and allied works in marine fisheries in the 222 fishing villages situated along the coastline of the state. The coastal line spread over nine districts of Kerala. The marine districts of Kerala are: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Trissur, Malappuram , Kozhikkode, Kannur , Kasaragod. In addition to this, the state is blessed with 44 rivers, 49 reservoirs, 9 fresh water lakes, more than 65000 hectares of brackish water, more than 46000 hectares of backwaters and a number of ponds, irrigation tanks, streams etc. which contribute a rich resource of inland production.
The state exports fish products worth approximately rupees 5008.54Crores accounting for roughly three per cent of the state revenue. Kerala’s share in the national marine fish production is around 13%.
A very rich marine wealth with a large variety of fish and a highly skilled population of fishermen has made Kerala a leading producer and consumer of fish. The high rainfall and a large number of rivers make the Kerala coast especially fertile for fish. One speciality of the Kerala coast is the mudbanks, known as chakara in Malayalam. It is the formation of clay and organic matters on the coast that after monsoon with the sea remaining calm, thus resulting in good harvest of fish.