Processing and Value Addition are Major Challenges for Marine Products Industry

Processing and Value Addition are Major Challenges for Marine Products Industry

Rajat K. Baisya

marineIndian marine food industry contributes approximately INR 270 billion in income or about 1.1 % of the GDP. Not only that fish is the main source of protein intake amongst population in coastal areas. It is also the major employment and livelihood provider in the coastal belt. Over 14.5 million people are engaged in fishing and fishing related activities. The current capacity of processing and cold storage are shown in the Table 1.

The sea food processing industry is quite well developed. There are about 1273 registered exporters in the country. The other infrastructure includes 215 ice plants, 481 shrimp peeling plants, 371 freezing plants, 471 cold storage units, 7 canning plants, 16 fish meal plants, 11 surimi plants. Around 95 per cent processing units are located and concentrated in 20 major clusters in 12 maritime states (Table 2) .Most of the processing units are now HACCP certified.

Over 80 per cent of the catch of the fish is utilized as fresh or chilled. About 6 per cent is said to be used for drying and curing, 4.7 per cent is utilized for production of fish meal and balance 5.3 per cent is utilized for freezing and export. Although there is an increasing trend now to produce value added fish products such as fish pickles, curried and extruded products. But that market is still not fully exploited. These products as well as canned fish has very big potential. However, main focus on international trade is still remained on frozen fish. The share of marine products export has steadily increased from INR 39.2 million in 1961-62 to INR about INR 63 billion in 2005-06 which is equivalent to 1.5 Per cent of the total export from India.

The main buyers are Japan, USA and West European countries and the major product is frozen shrimp and prawn including tiger prawn. While Japan was the single largest buyer of Indian sea food totaling about 31 per cent of the total exports from India but in year 2004-05 European Union collectively became the largest buyer from India.

Major marine products exported from India includes frozen shrimps, Individually Quick Frozen(IQF) shrimps, canned shrimps/prawns, lobsters, cuttle fish , squid tubes, fresh fishes, canned fish , dried fish, crab, clam, mussel, aquarium and ornamental fishes dried shark fins and dried fish maws etc. Table 3 and Table 4 give the details of sea food exports from India by products and export figures by select countries and regions respectively.

The future prospect lies in deep sea fishing. Inland fisheries is growing at about 6 per cent per annum but holds a much bigger promise. For adequate development of this sector intensifying coastal aquaculture, sea farming, intensifying deep sea fishing and better management practices for sustainability are the key imperatives. Considering large processing facilities and availability of manpower importing raw material for processing into value added products and exporting back hold good promise for India.o

Table 1: Current builtup capacity of seafood industry

Name of                           No. of         Freezing          No. of          Storage          No. of

the State                       Exporters      Capacity           Cold           Capacity        Fishin

(Ton/d)         Storages        (Ton/d)        Vessel

Kerala 287 1585.77 169 23086.50 296

Tamil Nadu 286 524.55 67 5900.00 1562

Karnataka 43 186.40 26 3540.00 3226

Andhra Pradesh 95 779.50 53 7200.00 717

9 104.00 9 1275.00 420

64 2216.03 57 22925.00 426

Orissa 30 220.00 20 2460.00 414

Maharastra 268 1327.11 39 19372.00 2932

West Bengal 99 340.00 30 3500.00 0

Delhi (UT) 92 0.00 1 15.00 0

Source: MPEDA

Table 2: Costal states where fishing and fish processing is a major industry

Kerala                           Maharashtra

Tamil Nadu                    Gujarat

Pondichery                   West Bengal

Karnataka                     Orissa

Andhra Pradesh           Goa

Andaman &

Nicobar Islands             Lakshadweep

Soura: MPEDA

Table 3: Sea Foods Export from India
Category 2004-05 2005-06 Growth in   Growth
Quantity    in value
Quantity          Value     Quantity        Value          (%)             (%)

(MT)       (Rs.Crores)   (MT)     (Rs.Crores)

Live Fish 60.8 6.32 43.3 5.5428.912.3

Fish fresh or chilled

excluding fish fillets 9931.0 91.65 10846.0 98.69 9.2 7.7

and other fish meat

Fish frozen excluding

fish fillets and other 144937.6 785.93 187869.7 1071.76 29.6 36.4

fish meat

Fish fillets & other fish

meat (whether or not 8959.2 78.13 13470.6 119.94 50.4 53.5

minced) fresh chilled

or frozen

Fish (dried and

processed) and fish 6350.5 50.59 6608.3 44.04 4.112.9

meal fit for consumption

Crustaceans (live,

chilled, frozen, fresh 183604.0 4127.39 179843.1 3993.892.03.2

and processed)

Molluses (live, chilled,

frozen, fresh and 80332.5 764.06 95796.5 958.18 19.2 25.4

processed) and aquatic


Total 434175.6 5897.75 494477.5 6292.04 –                 –
Table 4: Export of Seafoods from India to select countries
Importing 2004-05 2005-06 Growth in   Growth
Country                                                                                                              Quantity   in value
Quantity          Value     Quantity       Value          (%)             (%)

(MT)        (Rs.Crores)   (MT)     (Rs.Crores)

96283.5 1644.2 107669.2 1704.0 11.8 3.6

102599.8 1580.5 112844.7 1783.4 10 12.8

(Excluding 163258.9 1179.1 192431.0 1333.8 13.1 1.9

Middle East & Japan)

Middle East
13904.2 202.6 17877.8 248.52 28.6 22.7

Japan 46881.7 1101.2 45280.0 990.23.410.1

Total 422928.1 5707.6 476102.7 6059.9


-- This article was first published in "Processed Food Industry" monthly magazine.


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