Demand For Fish Pushes Growth In Aquaculture

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
23 January 2007, at 12:00am

INDIA - Marine products exports from the county has posted an 8.03% rise in value and 3.81% jump in quantity, during the first nine months of this fiscal. According to provisional figures prepared by Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda), a total 4,10,983 tonne of seafood, worth Rs 6,055.39 crore was exported. During the same period last fiscal, it was 3,95,911 tonne worth Rs 5,605.5 crore .

Growing demand for fish and stagnating wild capture fisheries has also led to a tremendous growth in aquaculture production and trade. Rough estimates put the share of aquaculture in Indian exports to 22% quantity-wise and 55% value-wise. On the global front, as per figures available till 2005, aquaculture production was around 59 million tonne. There has also been a global shift to aquaculture and developing countries contributed 80% to the production and 50% to the value of traded aquatic products.

At the recent Indaqua show, organised by Mpeda, experts felt that while aquaculture held very great trade scope, it was important that each country had to develop strategies based on the indigenous species and should not copy any model. In the case of India, authorities like George Chamberlain of the US and Simon Funge-Smith of FAO in Bangkok felt that India needed to concentrate on the niche market for its black tiger shrimp, according to Mpeda marketing director Thomas Kuruvilla.

He said, in the backdrop of the growing demand for introducing, the white variety of vanammei prevalent in Thailand and Vietnam, experts cautioned against this. This has been a point of debate in the industry with several exporters favouring the introduction of this variety in the farms. However, exporters felt that with high capital cost involved and threat of getting pathogen-free species, there was the threat that it would destroy the aquaculture sector.

They admitted that along with the growing volumes in production, trade and consumption, there was the concurrent and increasing demand for improved sustainability, social acceptability and human safety from the aquaculture sector. International trading environment had been affected and there was pressure on producers to focus on production methods to address these issues.

Source: The Financial Express