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Last Chance for Farmers to Register in India

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INDIA - Sea food exporters will not purchase aquaculture produce from farmers who have not registered themselves with the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), from Wednesday onwards.

The Export Inspection Council of India under the Union Ministry of Commerce has made it mandatory for all farmed shrimp or scampi to be screened for residues of banned antibiotics, reports TheHindu.

According to the news organisation, these stringent steps have been proposed subsequent to rejection of Indian aquaculture produce by the European Union and other developed countries. According to the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), 36 containers of sea food, each worth Rs. 60 lakh, were rejected by the importing countries in the last financial year and this year 13 containers were rejected in the first quarter itself.

Andhra Pradesh is in the first place in the country because 50 per cent of the Rs. 3,000-crore sea food exported during 2006-07 was from the State. But now there are fears that the State, which stands first in shrimp exports in the country, will be displaced from the coveted spot, says TheHindu.

Exporters were pushed to take these difficult decisions following stringent stipulations introduced by the European Union. Exporters who earlier announced November 1, 2008 as the deadline for registration extended it to April 1, 2009, because of little response from aqua farmers.