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November 17, 2008

 

No recession impact yet for India's seafood sector

 

 

The seafood industry in India has not yet felt the brunt of the world market downturn as traders say consumption for the commodity has not changed.

 

Shrimp exports, which account 60 to 65 percent for India's seafood shipments, have increased due to growing demand for white shrimp, says K. Haribabu, former vice-chairman of Marine Product Export Development Authority.

 

However, the rupee's exchange rate may well dictate the export profits since the dollar has been erratic in recent months.

 

The export turnover last year was Rs.12,000 crores and despite a drastic fall in the current fiscal year, the industry is optimistic that they can reach the target in the coming months.

 

Following EU's rejection of 12 consignments of tuna from India due to bacterial contamination, eight of them from Visakhapatnam, the industry is gearing up to improve the hygienic standards and handling at the landing centres to impress upon European Union and other major destinations.

 

G.K. Murti, president of the Association of Indian Fishery Industry said they had taken the initiative along with the district administration to improve sanitary and hygienic conditions at the fishing harbour here, a major hub for seafood exports from the east coast, following a visit of a European delegation to Visakhapatnam last week. 

 

Murti added the sector is slightly affected by the US' anti-dumping regulations as they shift their sights to Japan and EU. Shrimp consumption went up by 90 percent in Japan and consumption in EU has significantly increased over the past few years. Murti said India can take advantage of this development as the taste of Indian sea tiger shrimp is quite extraordinary compared to other varieties.

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