Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023 | 12 Aug 2023

For Prelims: Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Coastal Aquaculture Authority, Seaweed, Polluter Pays Principle, Antibiotics, Estuaries

For Mains: Major Provisions Related to Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment ) Bill, 2023

Source: PIB

Why in News?

The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, recently passed by Parliament. These amendments seek to address ambiguities, streamline administrative processes, and integrate emerging aquaculture practices.

What is the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005?

  • Coastal aquaculture refers to the practice of cultivating and rearing aquatic organisms, such as fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants, in marine or brackish water environments along the coastlines or in estuaries.
    • The Act is about creating a special organization, called the Coastal Aquaculture Authority, to control and manage the activities related to raising seafood in areas near the coast.
  • According to the Act, the government has the duty to take actions to make sure that coastal aquaculture is done in a way that doesn't harm the environment.

What are the Major Provisions Related to Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment ) Bill, 2023?

  • Expanding the Scope of Coastal Aquaculture Activities:
    • Broaden Definition of Coastal Aquaculture: The amendments aims to bring all coastal aquaculture activities under the purview of the Act, removing ambiguities between different aspects of coastal aquaculture.
    • Inclusion of Emerging Aquaculture Practices: The amendments acknowledge the evolution of environmentally friendly aquaculture practices beyond shrimp farming, incorporating methods like cage culture, seaweed culture, marine ornamental fish culture, and more.
      • These practices align with the evolving landscape and offer substantial revenue and employment opportunities for coastal communities.
  • Facilitating Aquaculture Units within the No Development Zone (NDZ): Establishments like hatcheries, Broodstock multiplication centers (BMC), and Nucleus Breeding Centres (NBC) are now permitted to operate within 200 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL).
    • The amendment aims to address previous uncertainties arising from the interpretation of Section 13(8) of the original CAA Act of 2005, which had excluded coastal aquaculture from CRZ regulations.
  • Simplifying Regulatory Processes and Encouraging Ease of Doing Business:
    • Modification of Registration: The amendments replace the stringent provision of imprisonment with civil penalties for unregistered coastal aquaculture activities.
      • This shift towards civil instruments aligns with modern regulatory practices.
    • Operational Flexibility: The amendments introduce provisions for modifying certificates of registration in case of changes in ownership or activity size.
      • Additionally, they empower the Coastal Aquaculture Authority to condone delays in renewal applications with a compounded fee, enhancing administrative flexibility.
  • Environmental Protection and Compliance:
    • Standards for Emission and Effluents: The amendments empower the Coastal Aquaculture Authority to establish standards for emission or discharge of effluents from aquaculture units, holding owners accountable for adhering to these standards.
    • Polluter Pays Principle: The amendments uphold the 'Polluter Pays Principle,' mandating aquaculture unit owners to bear the cost of any environment-related damage or demolition assessed by the Authority.
    • Prohibition in Ecologically Sensitive Areas: The amendments prohibit coastal aquaculture activities in ecologically sensitive areas or areas with significant geo-morphological features, enhancing protection for vulnerable ecosystems.
  • Advancing Disease Prevention and Sustainable Practices:
    • Antibiotic-Free Aquaculture: By explicitly prohibiting the use of antibiotics and pharmacologically active substances, the amendments prioritize the health of aquatic ecosystems and promote environmentally conscious practices.

What is the Status of Coastal Aquaculture in India?

  • India has a coastline of about 7,517 km, and a vast potential for coastal aquaculture development. The major coastal aquaculture species in India are shrimp, fish, crab, oyster, mussel, seaweed, and pearl.
    • Over the past 9 years, shrimp production in India surged by 267%.
  • The nation's seafood exports experienced a doubling effect, surging from Rs 30,213 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 63,969 crore in 2022-23.
    • Notably, the major portion of these exports is attributed to shrimp.
  • Key coastal states such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu played a significant role in propelling the expansion of coastal aquaculture shrimp production and subsequent exports.


The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023, enhances India's aquaculture sector by clarifying regulations, promoting sustainable practices, and safeguarding the environment. This aligns with SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and underscores India's commitment to responsible economic growth and ecological well-being.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Which one of the following regions of India has a combination of mangrove forest, evergreen forest and deciduous forest? (2015)

(a) North Coastal Andhra Pradesh
(b) South-West Bengal
(c) Southern Saurashtra
(d) Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Ans: (d)


Q. Defining blue revolution, explain the problems and strategies for pisciculture development in India. (2018)