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India second largest producer of farmed fish behind China

by 5m Editor
5 February 2007, at 12:00am

INDIA - India has emerged as the world's second largest producer of farmed fish (aquaculture), but its total production is merely one-twentieths that of China, which holds the number-one position writes K. Venkiteswaran in The Hindu.

Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) sources here say the country's share in global aquaculture output is 4.2 per cent in volume and value.

The share of China, on the other hand, is 69.6 per cent in production and 51.2 per cent in value.

The State of the World Aquaculture Report, compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), says nine of the world's 10 largest aquaculture producing countries are in Asia.

Chile, in the 10th place, is the only country outside the region to have made it to the top 10.

The countries, in the order of rank, are: China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Bangladesh and Chile.

The report has reckoned India's farmed fish output (2004) at 2.47 million tonnes, against China's 41.32 million tonnes.

The value of India's total reared fisheries output is assessed at $ 2.93 million, against China's $ 35.99 million.

Much of the Indian aquaculture harvest comprises cyprinids such as carps, while China's aquaculture sector displays much larger diversity in terms of fish species.

The annual per capita consumption of fish in India has steadily risen from 2.9 kg prior to 1981 to 4.7 kg post 2000.

However, though Japan ranks way below India in terms of total aquaculture production, its global share in terms of value is higher, at six per cent, than India's, because of larger output of high-value fish.

The total aquaculture production of Japan is put at 1.26 million tonnes, valued at $ 4.24 million.

Chile also produces more of high-value products in its fisheries farms.

Though its production is estimated at only 0.69 million tonnes, less than one-third of India's, the value of the product is around $ 2.81 million, only marginally lower than India's $ 2.93 million, says the report.

The report points out that fast growth of aquaculture has helped to enhance consumption of fish, playing an important role in food security.

As a result of aquaculture development, even species which used to be considered luxury such as salmon.

Shrimps are now more affordable and the surge in production through improved technology has brought down prices too.

TheFishSite News Desk

5m Editor