Seafood Of India

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Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

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India Aims to Double Seafood Exports in Two Years, Debunking Safety Concerns

A senior Indian government official has outlined ambitious plans to significantly boost the country’s seafood export industry. The goal is to reach Rs 1 lakh crore (approximately $12.5 billion) within the next two years. This strategy hinges on increasing processing capacity and transitioning to higher value-added seafood products.

The official, who declined to be named due to pre-election restrictions, emphasized the robust regulatory and safety regime governing Indian shrimp exports. This system ensures the quality of marine products shipped to developed regions like the US and Europe. 548 seafood processing units in India undergo regular inspections and monitoring by various government agencies.

Debunking Safety Concerns

The official strongly refuted recent reports alleging poor working conditions and safety standards within the Indian shrimp industry. These claims were deemed “wrong and baseless.” They further clarified that all processing units are registered with relevant authorities like MPEDA (Marine Products Export Development Authority), FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), and EIC (Export Inspection Council). Additionally, these units are subject to audits by international agencies like the US FDA and the European Commission, guaranteeing adherence to global standards.

Strict Regulations and Monitoring

India prioritizes food safety throughout the production and processing chain. The official highlighted the implementation of a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) based system in pre-processing and processing units, aligning with US regulations. Furthermore, the use of pharmacologically active substances in aquaculture has been banned since 2002.

A comprehensive national framework safeguards against food safety hazards. This includes the National Residue Control Plan, ELISA screening labs, in-house labs, and pre-export checks. These measures ensure that antibiotic residues and other potential risks are eliminated from the product value chain, protecting consumer health.

Building on a Strong Foundation

India recently achieved record-breaking seafood exports in 2022-23, with a volume of 17.35 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 63,969.14 crore (USD 8.09 billion). Frozen shrimp remains the dominant export item, with the US and China being the primary importers. While exports dipped slightly in the initial months of the current fiscal year, the US continues to be the biggest market for Indian shrimp, accounting for 40% of the market share.

Capturing Higher Value

A significant portion of Indian shrimp destined for the US is currently processed in Latin American nations. The government aims to capture this value addition by establishing stronger domestic processing capabilities. This shift will not only generate higher export revenue but also create new opportunities within India.

The Road Ahead

With a focus on robust regulations, value-added products, and increased processing capacity, India’s plan to double its seafood exports in two years holds significant promise. This strategy could not only strengthen the economy but also empower local communities, particularly those heavily reliant on shrimp farming.

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