Bangalore: Growing at a Compound annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about seven percent, India’s marine and fish industry is likely to reach Rs 67,800 crore by 2015 from the current level of nearly Rs 53,000 crore, industry body ASSOCHAM said on Wednesday.
    
The processed segment comprises about Rs 8,000 crore, which is over 15 percent of total size of the domestic marine and fish industry, according to a study titled ‘Indian Marine & Fish Industry’, released by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
    
Fish production in India is likely to cross 12 million tonne (mt) by 2015 from the current level of about 9.3 mt. Captured fish accounts for about 65 percent of total fish production, while aquaculture accounts for over 30 percent of annual fish production, said the study.
    
India is the second largest fish producer in the world after China and accounts for nearly six per cent of global fish production.
   
"Over 8,000 kilometres of coastline, four million hectares of reservoirs, two million hectares of brackish water and nearly 51,000 square kilometers of continental shelf area offer a plethora of opportunities for the growth of marine and fish industry of India," said D S Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the study.
    
"India’s substantial fishery resources are under-utilised and there is tremendous potential to further increase the output," said Rawat. "There is a huge scope for investments in packaged marine processing plant, operations in preservation, processing and export of coastal fish for the private sector as it holds vast, untapped marine resources with a great export potential."

Nearly 30 percent of marine and fish produced domestically is exported annually. Processing of fish into canned and frozen forms is carried out almost entirely for the export market.
    
The export earnings in 2010-11 reached nearly three billion dollars (about Rs 15,000 crore), recording a growth of about 20 percent compared to the previous year. Vannamei shrimp, black tiger shrimp, cuttlefish, lobster, clams, fish fillets and squid are certain products that provide opportunities for export of marine items from India.
    
Seafood exports from India are likely to touch 4.7 billion Dollars (about Rs 23,500 crore) by 2013 from 2.8 billion Dollars (about Rs 14,000 crore) in 2010-11 through value addition, expansion of aquaculture, technological upgradation and by tapping unexplored resources, an ASSOCHAM study titled ‘Indian Seafood Exports Market: 2014.’
    
Units in the fish processing sector are largely small scale proprietary, partnership firms and fishermen co-operatives. There has been spectacular growth in the marine fisheries sector due to well developed harvest and post harvest infrastructure and increased demand for seafood both in the domestic and export markets, said ASSOCHAM.
    
There is scope for developing technology for value addition and infrastructure for exports in the form of marine products based food parks through public private partnership.
     
Besides, there is an increased demand for processed and ready-to-eat marine products in the domestic market and as such ASSOCHAM suggests the government to encourage foreign investment in infrastructure for distribution and storage.
     
Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerela, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are key states that have huge potential to enhance India’s seafood export potential.

(Agencies)