The Fisheries College was started at Thoothukudi by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in October, 1977 as the second fisheries college in India. It was brought under the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) on 19th September, 1989. The college was renamed as Fisheries College and Research Institute (FC&RI) in 1990 to focus more on research and extension activities. The FC&RI has four campuses: the Main Campus located at Harbor bypass road having an area of 24 ha, the Shore Laboratory Campus located about 11 km away from the main campus at the Fishing Harbor Complex, North Beach Road having an area of 0.4 ha. and the campus that houses staff quarters at the Teachers Colony with an area of 1 ha, which is 3 km away from main campus and Department of Coastal Aquaculture Campus with an area of 6 acres is located at Tharuvaikulam, a coastal village 17 km away from the main campus, for undertaking Mariculture / Coastal Aquaculture activities. The Fisheries College and Research Institute is adequately staffed with a sanctioned strength of 51 teaching positions and 90 non teaching positions
Fisheries College and Research Institute has two hostels, a Boys hostel Complex located within the College main campus, and a Ladies Hostel Complex, located at the Staff Quarters Campus, Teachers Colony Thoothukudi. Both the hostel complexes have separate blocks for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. A total of 106 boys and 83 girls are housed in their respective hostels.