After a sustained increase in the last 7-8 years, India’s seafood exports witnessed a 10 per cent dip in quantity and 9 per cent in value in FY-16. The decline in dollar terms was nearly 15 per cent.

The figures available with the Marine Products Exports Development Authority (Mpeda) revealed that the country exported 9,45,892 tonnes of seafood worth $4.7 billion (₹30,420.83 crore) in FY16 against 10,51,243 tonnes worth $5.5 billion (₹33,441.61 crore) achieved in the previous fiscal.

Frozen shrimp continued to be the major export item followed by frozen fish. The US and S-E Asia are the major importers of Indian seafood.

Mpeda Chairman A Jayathilak attributed the reason of drop in exports to depreciation of the euro, weaker economic condition in China, devaluation of the yen, etc. The decline in capture fishery also contributed to the decrease, he told media persons here on Friday. He also cited a 10.5 per cent decline in the wild caught shrimp landing (3,48,296 tonnes) in 2015 compared to 3,89,007 tonnes in the previous year.

Higher supplies According to him, the revival of aquaculture production, especially shrimp in Thailand and Vietnam, has resulted in a better supply situation in the international market. This has eased the price situation of shrimp in the world over including India. Thus, the average unit value realisation of frozen shrimp has come down to $8.28/kg in FY16 against $10.38 in FY15, he said.

India is in the process of setting up a nuclear breeding centre for shrimps in Kanayakumari, which will be operational in two years. Right now, the brood stock is imported to meet the demands of aquaculture farmers, he said.

Vannamei shrimp The export of Vannamei shrimp has improved from 2,22,176 tonnes to 2,56,699 tonnes in FY16 with a growth rate of 16 per cent. In value terms, about 50 per cent of total Vannamei shrimp was exported to US followed by 17.25 per cent to South-East Asian countries, 15.78 per cent to EU, 4.55 per cent to Japan, 3.62 per cent to West Asia, 2.23 per cent to China and 6.40 per cent to other countries.

Japan is the major market for black tiger shrimp with a share of 37.04 per cent in value terms followed by the US (20.56) and S-E Asia (19.28).

Mpeda envisages export of marine products worth $5.6 billion in FY17. Increased Vannamei and black tiger shrimp production, diversification of aquaculture species, particularly Mangrove crab and Tilapia, quality control measures and increase in infrastructure facilities for production of value-added products are expected to achieve this target, he added.

Global expo The 20th edition of India International Seafood Show, organised jointly by Mpeda and Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), will be held at Visakhapatnam from September 23 to 25. The show this year will be focussing on “Safe & Sustainable Indian Aquaculture” to highlight the technological advances and sustainable practices followed in capture and culture fisheries in India.

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