Indian seafood exports soars

Brussels: Indian seafood exports reached $2.7 billion in 2010-2011 compared to $2.1 billion in the previous fiscal year, officials said. Europe is the leading market for Indian seafood products followed by US, China and Japan.

“The seafood industry of India is growing and will grow by leaps and bounds, recession or no recession,” Leena Nair, chairperson of the Marine Products Export Development Authority of India, told EuAsiaNews in Brussels where she attended the European Seafood fair.

The 19th Annual European Seafood Exposition (ESE) and 13th Annual Seafood Processing Europe (SPE) were held in Brussels between May 3 and 5.

Sixteen Indian companies participated. “They did a very good business, almost everybody. Business opportunities have been wonderful. We have increased our business,” said Nair.

She added that shrimp is a high value item for exports, which included about six percent of Minami (a type of curry powder), a new product from India.

“The world seems to be liking the Indian Minami. It has been very well received,” she said.

Anwar Hashim, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, said: “We had higher exports and hopefully we can continue the trend. This year we have grown by about 15 percent in volume. Europe is our biggest market.”

The fair brought together seafood buyers and sellers from across the world with over 1,600 companies from 80 different countries exhibiting.

According to the 2010 State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report, the estimated total world fishery production in 2008 amounted to 142 million tonnes, which places it at a new all-time high.

In addition, global consumption of fish and seafood has doubled since 1973 and is expected to increase by 25 percent by 2015. The fisheries industry is a critical source of income and employment for hundreds of millions of people around the world. (IANS)