November 24, 2011


Indian marine, fish industry to reach US$1.3 billion



By 2015, India's marine and fish industry is likely to reach INR67, 800 crores (US$1.3 billion) from the current level of nearly INR53,000 crores (US$1 billion) and it is growing at a compound annual growth rate of about 7%, according to apex industry body ASSOCHAM on Wednesday (Nov 23).


The processed segment comprises of about INR8,000 crores (US$0.2 billion) which is over 15% of total size of the domestic marine and fish industry, according to a study titled 'Indian Marine & Fish Industry' released by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).


The fish production in India is likely to cross 12 million tonne by 2015 from the current level of about 9.3 million tonnes. Captured fish accounts for about 65 of total fish production, while aquaculture accounts for over 30% of annual fish production, said the study.


India is the second largest fish producer in the world after China and accounts for nearly 6% of global fish production.


"Over 8,000 kilometres of coastline, four million hectares of reservoirs, two million hectares of brackish water and nearly 51,000 square kilometre of continental shelf area offers a plethora of opportunities for the growth of marine and fish industry of India," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the study.


"India's substantial fishery resources are under-utilised and there is tremendous potential to further increase the output," said Rawat. "There is a huge scope for investments in packaged marine processing plant, operations in preservation, processing and export of coastal fish for the private sector as it holds vast, untapped marine resources with a great export potential."


Nearly 30% of marine and fish produced domestically are exported annually. Processing of fish into canned and frozen forms is carried out almost entirely for the export market.


The export earnings in 2010-11 reached nearly US$3 billion, recording a growth of about 20% compared to the previous year. Vannamei shrimp, black tiger shrimp, cuttlefish, lobster, clams, fish fillets and squid are certain products that provide opportunities for export of marine items from India.


The seafood exports from India are likely to touch US$4.7 billion by 2013 from US$2.8 billion dollars in 2010-11 through value addition, expansion of aquaculture, technological upgradation and by tapping unexplored resources, according to an ASSOCHAM study titled 'Indian Seafood Exports Market: 2014.'


The units in the fish processing sector are largely small scale proprietary, partnership firms and fishermen co-operatives. There has been spectacular growth in the marine fisheries sector due to well developed harvest and post harvest infrastructure and increased demand for seafood both in the domestic and export markets, said ASSOCHAM.


There is scope for developing technology for value addition and infrastructure for exports in the form of marine products based food parks through public private partnership.


Besides, there is an increased demand for processed and ready-to-eat marine products in the domestic market and as such ASSOCHAM suggests the government to encourage foreign investment in infrastructure for distribution and storage.


Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerela, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are certain key states that have huge potential to enhance India's seafood export potential.

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