Seafood Of India

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Welcome to India's first Exclusive Seafood Portal

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SEAI Drives MSC Certification for Indian Marine Species, Enhancing Seafood Market Access

The Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) is spearheading efforts to secure Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for a variety of marine species caught off India’s coast. This move aims to boost the sustainability credentials of Indian seafood and expand its reach in international markets.

The MSC, a non-profit organization responsible for the world’s most recognized fisheries sustainability standard, evaluates fisheries against a rigorous set of criteria, ensuring that they are managed responsibly and sustainably. MSC certification has become a benchmark for environmentally conscious consumers worldwide, opening doors to new market opportunities.

SEAI, in collaboration with WWF-India and the International Pole and Line Foundation, has successfully completed a Fisheries Improvement Program (FIP) for skipjack tuna fisheries in the Lakshadweep Islands. This marks a significant step towards MSC certification for this fishery.

In addition to skipjack tuna, SEAI has conducted pre-assessments and developed FIPs and action plans for several other marine species, including coastal shrimps, deep-sea shrimp, octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and blue swimming crab. These species represent a substantial portion of India’s marine catch and hold immense potential for MSC certification.

Veteran marine scientist Sunil Mohamed, chair of the Sustainable Seafood Network India (SSNI), highlighted the importance of MSC certification for the Indian seafood industry. “MSC certification will help Indian seafood achieve more visibility and acceptability in the world market,” he stated.

The SSNI has formed two consortia to support the MSC certification process, providing financial and technical assistance to participating fisheries. These consortia are crucial in ensuring that the FIPs and action plans meet the MSC’s stringent standards.

The pursuit of MSC certification aligns with India’s growing commitment to sustainable fisheries management. The NITI Aayog, WWF-India, and SSNI have joined forces to promote fisheries sustainability in India, recognizing its significance for both environmental conservation and economic development.

MSC representatives Edouard Le Bart, Michael Marriott, Matt Watson, and Louanne Mostert have been actively engaged in discussions with seafood exporters and marine researchers from CMFRI, CIFT, CUSAT, and FSI. This collaboration is essential in ensuring that the MSC certification process is conducted in a transparent and scientifically sound manner.

As India’s seafood industry embarks on this journey towards MSC certification, it is poised to strengthen its position as a responsible producer of high-quality, sustainable seafood. Ecolabels, as emphasized by the FAO, serve as valuable market differentiators, signaling to consumers that the products they choose have a minimal environmental footprint.

By prioritizing sustainability and adopting internationally recognized standards, India’s seafood industry is well-positioned to capture a greater share of the global market, while simultaneously safeguarding the marine resources that underpin its success.

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