Exports of marine products to go up by 20 per cent

Shrimps being packed for export from Fishing Harbour in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.Photo: K.R. Deepak

Shrimps being packed for export from Fishing Harbour in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.Photo: K.R. Deepak  

IISS-20166 to focus on safe and sustainable aquaculture

Predicting a bright future for marine product exports from India, the Ministry of Commerce is confident of raising exports this year by 20 per cent.

Speaking on the eve of the three-day 20th India International Seafood Show-2016 from September 23 at the Port Kalavani stadium here, MPEDA Chairman Dr. A. Jayathilak told The Hindu that that they were confident of achieving 20 per cent growth during 2016-17.

Increase the export turnover to $5.6 during the current year is expected due to thrust on aquaculture diversification, improvement of quality and production infrastructure. There was a decline in the last fiscal when total seafood exports stood at 9,45,892 MT worth $ 4.7 billion but a reserve is expected here.

India has a huge potential which is yet to be fully utilised and the highly successful Aquatic Disease Surveillance Programme and state of the art Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF) at Chennai will go a long way in increasing exports.

At AQF, all the imported brooders/ post-larvae of Litopeneaus Vannamei (Pacific Whiteleg Shrimp) undergo detailed disease check for the entire OIE-listed shrimp diseases and other potential shrimp pathogens. Only disease-free products are allowed for further breeding/rearing in the country. Due to the stringent protocols followed at AQF, while all our competitors like China, Thailand and Philippines suffered from AHPND, a severe shrimp disease, during this decade, India was not affected at all.

Praising the Cluster Farming Approach (CFA), he said “we have also benefited tremendously by adopting CFA. More than 90 per cent of the shrimp farmers in India are small or marginal farmers (less than 5 ha in area). New trends have emerged in production and marketing such as certification, traceability and eco-labeling. In this background, he said MPEDA felt the need to guarantee the quality of seafood produced for domestic and export markets. MPEDA has evolved a new mechanism for capacity building in shrimp health and quality management at grass-roots level by encouraging small-scale farmers into aqua societies.

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