Indian seafood exports till date for the current fiscal is seen lower by 5% in both volume and value terms due to a decline in fish caught from the sea, officials of the state-run Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said on Thursday.
MPEDA chairman KS Srinivas said climatic factors including cyclones is the reason for decline in fish from capture fisheries. India accounts for nearly 6% of the global fish production and is the largest producer of shrimps in the world.
During 2018-19, India exported over 14,37,000 tonne of marine products worth over $6.70 billion, according to provisional figures. During CY19, seafood exports to China crossed $1 billion by exporting over 2 lakh tonne and was seen robust till November, Srinivas said, adding that some exporters to China had been affected due to China monitoring strictly for white spot syndrome virus in the past few months.
The US is still the largest market in terms of both value and volume of shrimp exports with Indian shrimp exports to the US for the first eleven months of 2019 seen higher by 14.6 % year-on-year at 258,837 tonne. Elias Sait, secretary-general of Seafood Export Association of India(SEAI), said aquaculture shrimp production was likely to touch 8 lakh tonne in the current fiscal, contradicting fears that it would come down. He said it was due to an increase in area under shrimp and productivity.
Officials of both MPEDA and Seafood Export Association of India (SEAI) allayed fears that exports to China would be hit by the coronavirus outbreak as China is a huge country and only one province had been affected. While speaking to reporters about the 22nd India International Seafood Show in Kochi,to be held from February 7-9, Srinivas said IISS 2020 offers a platform for all stakeholders to deliberate on various aspects of the seafood industry for striking business deals.