CHENNAI (TIP): Export of marine products is expected to touch $4.3 billion (Rs 26,750 crore) in 2013-14, an increase of 23 per cent compared to a year ago. The increase comes despite the US, Canada and Japan’s stringent regulations in recent months. One major contributor to growth is new markets and another value-added products, said an officer at the Marine Products Export Development Authority, under the commerce ministry. After announcing the 19th edition of the Indian International Seafood Show, January 10-12, in Chennai, Chairman Leena Nair said the Indian seafood sector had grown 20-22 per cent in three years, despite major hurdles.
In the last two years, the sector saw the countervailing and anti-dumping duty by the US, as well as quality regulation from Canada and Japan.N Ramesh, director, marketing, added the $4.3-billion goal during the current financial year was achievable. Value-added products are gaining momentum, said Nair. These were five per cent of the seafood exports three years ago, but now are 17 per cent. The target is to increase it to 30 per cent and then 50 per cent in three-five years, said Ramesh. Abraham J Tharakan, president, Seafood Exporters Association of India, said over the years the sector had added capacity to export value-added products. India has been exporting these to China and Thailand, where they are converted into ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products.Ramesh said in two-three years the sector had entered markets such as Africa, Commonwealth of Independent States and southeast Asia. These form 16 per cent of the export turnover.