Agri Business

Matsya exports fresh chilled tuna to Europe

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on March 18, 2011

The Kerala State Cooperative Federation for Fisheries Development, popularly known as Matsyafed, which has set up the Tuna Terminal facility to export value-added tuna products, has now started exporting fresh chilled tuna to European markets.

Major markets to which tuna is now exported are Japan, France, Spain and the US as these countries use the Indian fish exported through Matsyafed for Sashimi and Sushi preparations – dishes involving raw fish, Mr P.Kesavan Nair, Managing Director, Matsyafed, said.

After getting the European Union's approval, there is a marked improvement in the performance of the Tuna Terminal facility. It has now started exporting frozen tuna to markets in France, Bulgaria, Singapore, Iran, Thailand, Japan and South Africa, he said.

Foreign exchange

Through exports, India is gaining foreign exchange to the tune of $6-14 a kg depending on the grade of tuna. This has further resulted in better value realisation to the fishermen, from the earlier Rs 90 a kg to 140 a kg, he added.

Matsyafed had set up the Tuna terminal in Kochi in August last year at an investment of Rs125 lakh with the assistance from MPEDA to help fishermen get better prices for their catch. Normally tuna exported for canning grade are priced around $1.5-2.5 a kg and the price increase depends on the quality of tuna.

However, Matsyafed receives only a limited quantity for chill fish export, which is less than 0.5 per cent of the total landing quality. To get better quality tuna, he said onboard handling has to be improved. Besides, the understanding among fishermen of handling of prices and quality is poor, which is the reason for inferior quality. The fish used for Sashimi and Sushi preparations has to be handled carefully and pre-processed on board for better utilisation, he added.

Published on March 18, 2011

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