Shrimp processing. (Photo: Stock File)
India could stop being the world 2nd largest fish producer
Monday, January 09, 2017, 22:20 (GMT + 9)
A dwindling catch from capture fisheries and tougher quality inspection in importing countries are deeply affecting India’s seafood exports.
During financial year 2015-16, India exported 945,892 tonnes of seafood worth USD 4.7 billion against 1,051,243 tonnes valued at USD 5.5 billion in fiscal year 2015.
Today, India is the second largest fish producer in the world after China, and accounts for nearly 6 per cent of global fish production.
“The EU commission has passed a motion to increase the number of shipments of Indian aquaculture products stopped for checks at the borders to 50 per cent from 10 per cent earlier. A vannamei shrimp export consignment to South Africa was rejected following the detection of vibrio cholera in the shipment. The issue has not been sorted so far and the delay is affecting exports,” Anwar Hashim, managing director of Abad Fisheries and former president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, stressed.
The EU, which has been strengthening its import regulations by increasing its environmental and health standards, is the third-largest destination for Indian seafood with a share of 20 per cent of the total volume of exports.
India and other countries have had to attach catch certificates to all their seafood shipments from 2010 to help reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
According to Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute officials, India’s fish catch during 2015 has declined by 5.3 per cent year-on-year, largely due to a sharp decline in the landing of oil sardines in the southwest coast of the country.
Higher sea surface temperature, lack of food in the sea near the coast and over-exploitation of the sardine population are some of the reasons that explain landing decrease.
Sardine downloads recorded a sharp drop of 51 per cent during 2015, leading to a decline in total landing to 3.4 million tonnes against 3.59 million tonnes in 2014.
India stands seventh regarding marine capture fish production in the world, and the sector provides jobs to 4 million fishermen.
- Cholera bacteria could affect shrimp exports to South Africa