New Delhi: India is aiming to double marine exports, including that of tuna fish, to $4 billion (Rs16,200 crore) by 2012, minister of state for commerce and industry Jairam Ramesh told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, even as he touched upon the necessity to widen the range of items exported.
Replying to supplementaries during question hour, he said marine exports last fiscal amounted to $1.8 billion and that this year they are expected to touch the $2 billion mark.
“We hope to reach $4 billion export target by 2012,” he said, adding that “53% of the marine exports comprise of shrimp and we need to diversify the export basket.”
New push: With technology induction for catching highly migrating species such as the tuna, exports this year may touch $2 billion.
Export of tuna fish, which contributed only $200 million to the $1.8 billion export earnings in 2006-07, is being pushed through technology induction for catching this highly migrating species.
Tuna fish exports are targeted to reach $500 million by 2012, he said.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been identified as holding 25-30% of tuna potential in the country. “A perspective plan for tuna fishing was released there four months back with the main focus for fishing in the Andaman and Nicobar sea and also off the Visakhapatnam and Tuticorin coasts,” he said.
He, however, said the domestic fish market would not be opened for imports. “There is no question of opening our fish market.”
Of the $1.8 billion marine exports last fiscal, $450 million came from Tamil Nadu, $350 million from Kerala and $270 million from Andhra Pradesh. The minister said that there would be an effort to tap the huge untapped potential off the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts.