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Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu: Seafood High on Export Menu | Chennai News

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Braving the rough waters the industry has faced on a global scale, Tamil Nadu’s seafood exporters have had a decent run in the first seven months of this fiscal year. They achieved $ 758 million in exports, nearly 80% of the export target of $ 973 million set for 2021-2022 by the Center.
This despite the troubles caused by the Covid which had affected production, the sharp increase in the cost of freight, the non-availability of refrigerated containers on time due to cartelization by shipping companies, not to mention China which carries out nucleic tests on imports of seafood from India.
It is a labor-intensive industry, employing mostly women – Tamil Nadu’s 40 or so seafood exporters employ more than 30,000 people. But despite having a coastline of 1,076 km, Tamil Nadu only accounts for 15% of India’s total seafood exports of $ 7.8 billion targeted for this fiscal year.

Main markets for Indian seafood exports 2021-2021

Tamil Nadu is proactive. He identified seafood exports as one of the “champion” sectors for boosting exports and helping the state meet its economic goal of $ 1 trillion by 2030. We made a detailed presentation at Minister of Finance Palanivel Thiaga Rajan. He and Fisheries Minister Anitha Radhakrishnan have pledged their full support to us, ”said KVV Mohanan, Tamil Nadu president of the Indian Association of Seafood Exporters.
Tamil Nadu’s 15% share of seafood exports includes transfers from Andhra Pradesh via the port of Chennai. Aquaculture (mainly shrimp) contributes nearly 70% of the export pot, with capture fisheries accounting for the rest. Aquaculture production in TN has been declining for the past few years, while other states such as Andhra Pradesh have increased their production. The hatchery sector, which originated in Chennai, has been the victim of extortion by antisocials with political backing. As a result, the industry has gone into virtual hibernation for the past 10 years in the state, the industry delegation told ministers.
“This government is concerned about developing the seafood industry. I asked the hatcheries and aquaculturists associations to come forward and develop an action plan with the exporters to enable the industry to exploit its vast potential. As such, the industry’s problems do not come from the government, but from local disbelievers turned extortionists, ”said Elias Sait, general secretary of the Indian Association of Seafood Exporters.
He cites a recent case, where a seafood exporter received in a month all the necessary authorizations from this government to establish a factory near Arambakkam, near the TN-AP border to process fish. But a few criminals were all the rage and the exporter is now forced to go to court, despite the support of local authorities, to start operations.
Seafood exports may increase if Tamil Nadu can add an additional 8,000 acres to aquaculture over the next three years, allocating land to poorer sections, especially the fishing community, according to experts at industry. The government should also help them obtain loans and provide grants to help them adopt the latest techniques in aquaculture. This can bring shrimp production to 50,000 tonnes per year, up from 20,000 tonnes last year.
“Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra) has effectively used nearly 95% of the land identified as suitable for aquaculture. In Tamil Nadu, only 16% of the available land is used. The growth potential is enormous, ”says Mohanan.
Industry experts say Tamil Nadu’s seafood exports can reach 15,000 crore and more over the next five years, up from an expected 9,000 crore this year. “But we face problems on two fronts. High diesel prices, despite state government subsidies, have limited the number of boats venturing out to sea and continued depletion of marine resources has halved catches, ”said DB Ravi Reddy, Treasurer of the Seafood Exporters Association of India. He says indiscriminate fishing, which also brings back juvenile fish, has contributed to the depletion of the catch. The cost of electricity to run cold stores in Tamil Nadu is also five times higher than in some other coastal states.
Industry must overcome this “double whammy” to maintain exports at existing levels. He urged the state to introduce aquaculture parks, offer the latest tuna fishing technology and encourage cage culture and sea-breeding to replenish the catch.