Seafood exports to Japan is likely to gain with the country lifting inspection order for Indian Black Tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) after the export consignments of this shrimp were found free from any residue of synthetic anti-bacterial drug furazolidone, officials of the state-run Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said.
India accounts for nearly 6% of the global fish production and is the largest producer of shrimps in the world. Black Tiger shrimp, commonly known as the giant tiger prawn or Asian Tiger shrimp, is a popular seafood delicacy the world over and also forms an important segment of India’s marine products export basket. Japan consumes nearly 40% of India’s Black Tiger shrimp exports, while it enjoys niche markets in EU and US also.
Japanese agency has also reduced import inspection sampling frequency for Black Tiger shrimp to 30% from the current 100%, said KS Srinivas, chairman, MPEDA. Order related with furazolidone was implemented in accordance with Section 3, Article 26 of the Food Sanitation Act of Japan.
Welcoming the lifting of inspection order by Japan, Srinivas said it is a validation of the relentless efforts undertaken by the MPEDA in raising the request at various platforms and through its trade promotion office in Tokyo. He added that MPEDA, through its field offices and society named National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture, had been constantly educating the farmers on better management practices (BMPs) and the ill-effects of using unknown inputs, which may contain residues of antimicrobial substances like furazolidone.
Srinivas said that MPEDA has also been making sustained efforts to revive the production of Black Tiger shrimp by supplying high health seeds of the variety from its new Multispecies Aquaculture Complex (MAC) at Vallarpadam in Kochi. The seeds supplied by MAC have evoked a rapidly growing interest among the farmers to raise the disease-free variety, he said. The current decision by Japan will give an impetus to the farming and export of the variety, which has been shadowed by the mass production of exotic vannamei variety during the last 10 years.