India Aims to Resume ₹4,500 cr Worth of Wild-Caught Shrimp Exports to US

Feed Tech Expo 2022

Indian shrimp exporters may soon be able to resume the sale of ₹4,500 crore worth of wild-caught shrimp every year to the US. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT) has developed a new turtle excluder device (TED) as per the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) specification for Indian shrimp trawlers to make their catch export worthy for the US.

The US Department of State has not certified India since 2019 for exporting wild-caught shrimp to the USA as the TEDs used in Indian mechanised trawlers were not meeting US NOAA specifications. The redesign of TED was carried out by ICAR-CIFT under a project funded by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

“ICAR-CIFT has modified the TED design and successfully conducted the field trials. US NOAA appreciated the efforts taken by India and agreed to visit India to confirm the TED design,” Dodda Venkata Swamy, chairman, MPEDA says.

According to Swamy, the US officials visited India during February 18- 26 to conduct capacity-building training to stakeholders on the fabrication of the new TED and field demonstration. “The trained trainers will be utilised for disseminating the knowledge on the fabrication of TED and conducting field demonstrations in all maritime states of India for the effective implementation of modified TED suitable for Indian waters,” he says. “India should implement TED in all shrimp trawlers of India before September 2025, with the active support of the State Fisheries Department of all maritime states and (Central) Department of Fisheries. This will help India to resume the wild-caught shrimp exports to the USA and protect the livelihood of Indian fishers,” he adds.

Meanwhile, India is also gearing up to see that India’s fishery industry complies with the US Marine Mammal Protection Act (US MMPA) by the time US NOAA enforces it from January 1, 2026, to avoid any potential disruptions in marine product exports to that country.

Swamy said the USA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has observed that the overall risk of marine mammal by-catch in Indian fishery is ‘high’. “As per the final list of foreign fisheries (LOFF for India), three fisheries are classified as exempt fisheries and 12 as export fisheries under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act in 2017. To comply with the regulation, MPEDA funded the project to ICAR’S Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) for conducting the Marine mammal stock assessment study in Indian waters. Based on the study, MPEDA submitted a Comparability Finding Application (CFA) for the listed Indian fisheries to US-NOAA,” he explains.

India is waiting for the final determination from the US NOAA now. During the financial year 2022-23, India exported 17,35,286 MT of seafood worth $8.09 billion (₹63,969.14 crore), an all-time high export by volume and value. The US and China are the major importers of Indian seafood. Frozen shrimp continues to be the major export item.

Source: Fortune India