The plan, programme and policies of Fishery Sector are carried out through the Directorate of Fisheries, Orissa. The Directorate of Fisheries, Orissa was created in the year 1956 to look after all-round development of Fishery activities in the State. It is basically a service sector and extension oriented technical Department, which promotes scientific aquaculture in the state and look after the welfare of Fisher folk.
The State of Orissa is located on the east coast of India and covers an area of 155.707 Sq. Kms. Distributed between the coastal plain along the Bay of Bengal and the North Western Plateau of Central India. Orissa being a maritime State offers vast scope for development of inland, brackish water and Marine fisheries. The State is endowed with a long coast line of 480 Kms. The freshwater resources of the State include ponds/ tanks of 1.16 lakh hectares, reservoirs of 2.56 lakh hectares, Lakes, Swamps and jheels of 1.80 lakh hectares, rivers and canals of 1.55 lakh hectares. The Brackish Water resources include 2.98 lakh hectares estuaries, 32,587 hectares of cultivable Brackish Water, 8,100 hectares of backwater area and above all the Chilika the Indian Brackish Water Lagoon, extending over an area of 79.000 hectares. As per the survey conducted by Fishery Survey of India (FSI), the maximum sustainable fish yield from marine source is about 1.26 lakhs M.T. up to a depth of 200m off the coast of Orissa. The overall Fisheries potential of the State is 5, 13,667 M.T.
The fishermen population of the State is about 10.84 lakhs, of which about 7.51 lakhs in Inland Sector and 3.33 lakhs in Marine Sector that constitutes 2.95% of the total population of the State (3.68 crores - 2001 Census). The economic status of the fishermen is generally below poverty line (BPL). The Fisheries sector contributes 2.32% to the State G.D.P