The Indian seafood industry, hit by the export ban on
five value-added seafood units, has demanded setting up
of at least 30 world-class testing laboratories on Indias
western and eastern coasts and bringing the 400 shrimp
hatcheries and aqua farms under some form of control.
testing facilities with appropriate trained manpower have
to be set up to meet the requirement, says Abraham Tharakan,
the president of Kerala Seafood Exporters Association
and a major Indian seafood exporter.
eliminate the risk of antibiotics, the exporters have
already decided to purchase shrimp from 17 October 2002
from only those aquaculture farms that have an antibiotic-free
certificate from the Marine Products Export Development
Agency, the Export Inspection Agency or the Central Institute
of Fisheries Technology.
for regulation and monitoring of hatcheries and farms
on the use of antibiotics, Tharakan says China, Vietnam
and Thailand have all brought in strict regulations to
ensure that no antibiotics are used in shrimp hatcheries
association has already submitted a Rs 180-crore proposal
for developing a world-class seafood export processing
zone in Kochi. The zone will have a fishing harbour, captive
power plant and an effluent treatment plant among others,
thus ensuring quality shipment of seafood products that
meet world standards.
says the exporters do not have the capability to control
or prevent the hatcheries and farms in the usage of prohibited
antibiotics. Neither do the seafood exporting units
have the financial capacity to install individual HPLC
or Ms Equipment (each costs over Rs 2 crore) to detect
the trace of antibiotics.
seafood associations decision not to take in raw
materials if unaccompanied by the antibiotic-free certificate
is not in protest following the ban imposed by the Environmental
Investigation Agency (EIA), but is only to create awareness,
says ever since the European Union (EU) started its sophisticated
testing for antibiotic residues in food products, the
seafood industry had time and again urged the commerce
ministry, the Marine Products Exports Development Authority
and EIA to harmonise testing procedures with that of EU.