MPEDA opens Quality Control Lab in Porbandar; India misses Sea Food Export Target in 2019-20

On August 17, 2020, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) opened a Quality Control Laboratory in Porbandar. The laboratory is to test seafood processors and exporters.

Highlights

The laboratory is to test seafood processors and exporters to make sure their products are safe according to international regulatory requirement. It is equipped with equipment to analyse antibiotic residues and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury. These residues and metals are to be tested tuna, mackerel and also histamine in fish.

Histamine

Histamine is a compound released by fish in response to allergy and inflammatory reactions. It causes contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries.

Why in Gujarat?

Gujarat has low instances of antibiotic residues in seas foods. However, a number of cephalopod consignments are rejected overseas due to the presence of heavy metals, especially Cadmium.

Production of Sea Foods

According to Central Marine Fisheries Institute, Gujarat is second to Tamil Nadu in marine fish landings. It contributed to 7.49 lakh tonnes in 2019.

The major sea foods being exported from Gujarat are frozen fin fish, frozen shrimp, dried items. They are exported to European Union, China, South-East Asia, US and Japan. Also, Gujarat is the major exporter of Suirmi mainly to Japan.

India Sea Food Exports in 2019-20

In 2019-20, India Seafood Exports missed their 7 billion USD target. In 2019-20, India shipped 1,289,651 tonnes of seafood. This was worth 6.68 billion USD. In 2019, India exported sea foods of worth 6.73 billion USD.

In 2019-20, the frozen shrimp was the major export item.

The MPEDA has set target to increase seafood exports of the country to Rs 1 trillion by 2030.

China factor

China emerged as the largest seafood export destination for the year 2019-20. It accounted to 25.55% of total sea food exports. The export of seafoods to China grew by 46.10% in quantity and 69.47% in value.

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