BHUBANESWAR: The quality of aquaculture products from the State seems to have received a positive sign from the two-member European Union (EU) team evaluating the control system governing fishery products for export.
The delegation comprising Markus Brunner, Maria Lyons Alcantara and representatives of Exports Inspection Council (EIC) and Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is in the State from November 21. They evaluated the control regime regulating fish production and processing of fishery products for export.
Members of the EU team met Chief Secretary AP Padhi at the Secretariat and shared their experience on aquaculture production in the State. The team will submit its report to the Centre.
Their visit to the State assumes significance in view of the speculation of a possible ban on aquaculture products because of presence of antibiotics beyond stipulated norms, informed sources said.
The EU team visited several districts and inspected the fish landing harbours along with fish producing farms from where mostly exports are being made. The team inspected the fish landing centres at Paradip, Falcon Fish Production Centre at Bhubaneswar, brackish water farms in Puri and Balasore districts and checked the quality of the products.
The team is stated to have given a positive nod about quality of aquaculture products from Odisha. They also suggested setting up more pre-processing centres in the State. Presently, one pre-processing centre is functioning at Dhamra in Bhadrak district.Replying to mediapersons, Fisheries and Animal Resource Development Secretary Vishal Gagan said, “European Union is the second largest importer of fish products from Odisha. The export value to EU has increased to around `150 crore in 2016-17 from `89.42 crore in 2012-13.”
Other major countries importing aquaculture products from the State include Japan, USA and Middle East countries. The total value of sea food export from Odisha has reached around `2,205 crore during 2016-17 from `908 crore in 2012-13. Similarly, the total fish production of the State has increased to 6,08,100 tonnes in 2016-17 recording a growth of around 17 per cent over the previous fiscal. This includes 3,93,730 tonne of inland fish, 61,268 tonne of brackish water fish and 1,53,102 tonne of marine fish. The State has around 11 processing plants satisfying the norms of European Union, Gagan said.