The Indian Seafood Industry – An Overview

Indian Seafood Industry – An Overview

India is blessed with a coastline of over 8,118 kms, 2.02 million sq. km of EEZ, 0.5 million sq. km. Continental shelf estimated to have exploitable resources to the tune of 4.41 million tons of which about 3.40 million tons are presently exploited. The estimated potential brackish water area suitable for shrimp farming is about 1.2 million hectare of which around 14% is utilized for farming, producing about 5 lakh tons of shrimp and scampi which is going to the export basket. India’s total fishery production was 9.58 million tons from both marine and inland during 2012-14, in which inland sector contributed 6.14 million tons and marine sector 3.44 million tons. India’s seafood industry has become one of the leading suppliers of quality seafood to all the major markets of the world. India has world class seafood processing plants that follow quality control regimes complaint to stringent international regulatory requirements.

Seafood exports from India during the year 2014 – 2015 reached to an all time high of US$ 5.5 Billion. 106 countries in the world taste Indian seafood, SE Asia, EU, USA, Japan, China and Middle East being the major markets. India is the second largest aquaculture producer in the world, largest exporter of shrimp to USA, the 2nd largest exporter of shrimps to Europe and the 4th largest exporter of shrimps to Japan.

Frozen shrimp holds the major share in India’s export earnings and frozen fish is the principal export item in terms of quantity. Frozen cephalopods are also contributing a major share in the export earnings. Exports of dried, chilled and live items are also showing upward trend.

MPEDA envisage an ambitious target of US$ 10 Billion for the year 2020. Increased production of L.vannamei shrimp and increase in infrastructure facilities for production of value added items are considered to be the helping factors to achieve this target.

Processing Infrastructure

With the growing demand for Indian seafood products across the world, the dynamics of the seafood business in India is changing fast. There is a tremendous growth in the resources and infrastructure of the Indian seafood industry today.

India has an installed processing capacity of 23,000 M.T with 506 state-of-the-art processing plants, out of which over 62% of them are EU approved plants.Almost every plant has put in place HACCP and other Quality control system on par with the best in the world to ensure highest quality output.


Seafood Exports – Scaling New Heights

During the financial year 2014-15, for the first time in the history of Marine product exports, the export earnings have crossed USD 5.5 billion. This is also first time export has crossed all previous records in quantity, Rupee value and US$ terms.

The increased production of Vannamei shrimp, increased productivity of Black Tiger shrimp and better price realization of major items like Cuttlefish, Shrimp and Squid helped India to achieve significant export turnover during 2014-15.



Indian Aquaculture is highly promising and has grown over six and half fold in the last two decades with freshwater aquaculture contributing over 95% of the total aquaculture production.

India’s aquaculture production can be classified into freshwater and brackish water production.The development support provided by the Indian Government through a network of 429 Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDA) and 39 Brackish water Fish Farmers Development Agencies (BFDAs) have been the principal vehicles for the development and growth of freshwater and coastal aquaculture.

The three Indian major carps, namely catla (Catla catla), rohu (Labeo rohita) and mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala) contribute as much as 87% of total fresh water aquaculture production.Shrimps, Black Tiger and Vannamei, reimain to be the most favourite among the developed countries and earned 3.08 billion US$ to India’s economy.Though India has huge Aquaculture resources, only 14% of the potential water resources are utilized, implying huge potential for the growth of this sector.

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