Representative image | Photo: PP Binoj
Mattancherry: As India is making headways in the export of seafood products, Kerala has slipped to the fifth position. The country had recorded a 25 per cent increase in the export of seafood last year. The exports came up to Rs 47, 200 crores. There was a 65 per cent increase in prawns export alone.
Meanwhile, Kerala saw exports worth Rs 4,800 crore. Out of this, almost 65 per cent of fish were brought from other states. Andra Pradesh came first on the list with exports worth Rs 26,000 crore. The states including Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal are also ahead of Kerala.
Kerala was ranked first in seafood exports from 1950. The state lost its glory in the export business by 2005. Kerala has the most number of fish processing centres in the country. The companies under the central government related to the fish export sector including MPEDA, CMFRI, CIFT, CIFNET, and Netfish are in Kerala.
Kerala also has the most skilled workers in the fish processing sector. Keralites are training workers from other states in fish processing. Alex Ninan, Seafood Exporters Association President said that the shortage in availability of fish affected Kerala’s export.
The hike in the price of diesel also affected fishing drastically. Kerala is depending on its neighbouring states to collect sea fish for a long time now. The export levels took a hit due to the non-availability of containers and hike in its charge. It is reported that many of the fish processing centres in Kerala are not operational now.