Seafood Of India

Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

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Unleashing India’s Aquaculture Potential: A Call for Expansion and Ecosystem Enhancement

The Indian seafood industry, valued at over $8 billion, has reiterated its demand for increased aquaculture area and the creation of a conducive ecosystem to foster sustainable growth. This call for expansion highlights the industry’s recognition of aquaculture’s potential to enhance India’s position as a global seafood leader.

Jagdish Fofandi, President of the Seafood Exporters’ Association of India (SEAI), emphasized the need for a level-playing field for Indian aquaculture, similar to that enjoyed by Ecuador in shrimp culture and Vietnam and Thailand in wild catch. He pointed out that Indian wild-caught shrimp exports to the US have been banned for the past four years, while Ecuador has established a strong foothold in the US shrimp market.

Abraham Tharakan, a seasoned seafood industry veteran, shared that Indian shrimp exports to the US were once valued at around $250 million, but this has significantly declined due to market challenges. These concerns were raised during a two-day dialogue on fishery certification for achieving sustainable development goals in India, organized with the support of SEAI, the Sustainable Seafood Network of India, NITI Ayog, the Marine Stewardship Council, and WWF.

Despite facing hurdles such as the slowdown in the Japanese market, the Indian seafood industry has crossed the $8 billion mark in 2022-23. However, the industry has witnessed a significant drop in surimi (fish paste) demand from Japan, a major export destination for Indian surimi. This decline has had a substantial impact on the industry.

Industry representatives acknowledged that a decline in catch has not yet been reflected in the market but stressed the importance of expanding aquaculture area in India. They pointed to Ecuador’s success in aquaculture and urged for the creation of a similar supportive ecosystem in India to level the playing field.

The cultivation of Pacific white shrimp Vannamei, a popular aquaculture species, has not gained traction in Kerala, despite the fact that around 60% of the shrimp processed in the state is imported from Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, the aquaculture area in Gujarat has experienced a considerable decline, with production in South Gujarat dropping from approximately 90,000 tonnes to 30,000 tonnes.

Fofandi emphasized that aquaculture requires not only suitable land for cultivation but also a supportive ecosystem that facilitates business growth. He highlighted the crucial role of quality seed availability, feed affordability, and competitive electricity costs in driving aquaculture success.

The Indian seafood industry’s call for expansion and ecosystem enhancement underscores the recognition of aquaculture’s potential to boost seafood production, enhance export competitiveness, and contribute to India’s economic growth. By addressing the industry’s concerns and creating a conducive environment for aquaculture, India can further unleash its seafood potential and establish itself as a global leader in this sector.

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