BENGALURU: As the quality of fish production and packaging has improved over the last few years, the demand for fish from Karnataka has increased. and to further improve export figures, the state government is proposing to set up a Seafood Park.
About 10 per cent of the total fish produced in India is from Karnataka, making it the sixth in terms of production. Varieties of fish are exported from Mangaluru and Karwar sea ports and Bengaluru and Mangaluru airports.
In 2014-15, Karnataka exported 1,16,323 tonnes of fish worth Rs1,374.97 crore to many countries including Japan, the USA, European Union, China, South-east Asia and countries in the Middle East as against 98,619 tonnes of fish worth Rs1,122.39 crore in 2013-14.
As per data available with Express, around 61 per cent of fish exported are sent to South-east Asian countries.
Data also reveals that there is a huge demand for dried sea food items and frozen fish. In 2014-15, of the total 1.16 lakh tonnes exported, 42,669 tonnes were dried items and 26,154 were frozen fish. A reasonable quantity of seafood, including frozen shrimp, frozen cuttle fish, frozen squids are also exported every year.
According to H S Veerappa Gowda, Director of Fisheries, there is a demand for fish produced from Karnataka as, in the last few years, the quality of fish has improved. “Quality in terms of size and type of fish that are exported is better now. The value of fish varies depending on whether we send whole fish or fish with their heads removed. The value also differs between frozen and non-frozen fish,” he said.
Sea Food Park
The State government is planning to set up a seafood park. Veerappa said they are looking for a seafood park in Mangaluru that will have all the facilities where fish can be processed and exported in a better way. “We are looking for investors in the Global Investors’ Meet next month, who will help us set up the park,” he said.