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Shrimp shrink: after tsunami its Katrina and Rita for India

by the Fish Site Editor
24 October 2005, at 1:00am

INDIA - As India hopes for a favourable US International Trade Commission (ITC) decision early next month to lift the 10.17% anti-dumping duty imposed on Indian shrimps after the tsunami, a new move is on in the US to oppose it, claiming that hurricanes Katrina and Rita have badly affected the fishing industry there. Over a year after collecting anti-dumping duty, evidence submitted before ITC has shown that it has done little to improve the situation of the domestic shrimp market there. Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) national president AJ Tharakan when contacted, said India had always claimed that it was not dumping shrimp in the US and tsunami was only a recent argument to support this. He added that India had made a scientifically convincing presentation of the long-term damage caused by tsunami during the last hearing of ITC. Shrimp exports to the US had fallen by around 30% and from around 60 exporters catering to the US market, the duty had left just around 15 still trading with the US. After the tsunami, the sea catch has dwindled. The Tamil Nadu coastal belt, which was the source for brooder-stock for the aqua farms has seen irreparable damage. The low quality of the brooders had seen farmers unwilling to take up farming. This also resulted in a 60% reduction of the second crop of culture shrimp. Mr Tharakan said that it would take a very long time for revival of the shrimp industry. Exports to EU had shown a significant rise though not in real terms as it was the head-on material that went there. However, he refused to comment on the new twist . The collection of duties by the US started in July 2004 for China and Vietnam and in August 2004 for India, Thailand, Brazil and Ecuador giving sufficient time for the US industry to enjoy the significant restraints on competition. <i>Source: The Financial Express</i>

the Fish Site Editor