Udayavni Special

More hard times for coastal Karnataka’s fishing industry

Team Udayavani, Sep 15, 2020, 2:25 PM IST

Mangaluru: With fresh and stricter regulations on fish imports by many countries including China, the already hard-hitten fishing industry in the coastal districts has received another blow.

Every year almost 1,000 containers, each carrying 25 tonnes of marine produce, was exported from the State to other countries.

Local varieties such as the ‘Kappe Bondas,’ ‘Bondas’ and Pambolu fish had high demand in China. But exports have now been hit by stringent regulations and declining demand there.

Apart from China, fishes were exported from the State to European countries, Bangkok, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea. They were shut down since March and have not been restarted.

Last year, a total of Rs 1,600 crore worth of fishes were exported from Karnataka. But after March, exports had stopped. Loss mounted stored fishes could not be exported and salaries had to be paid to workers.

Another problem faced by exporters from the coastal districts is that even though the Central government’s Marine Products Export Development Authority has an office in Mangaluru they had to go the central laboratory at Kochi for the annual testing. Requests to set up a laboratory at Mangaluru have been sent to the Centre by commercial entities here.

Currently, only air cargo is operational and their rates have increased. Fishes costing Rs 100 are being sold at Rs 300. It would be good if air carriers could lower their rates, says a fish exporter.

“Last year, a total of Rs 1,600 crore worth fishes from Karnataka were exported to many countries including China. But since March, exports have stopped. This year fishing season was is delayed. Exports are expected to begin in a few days. We will export fishes based on demand from overseas, said Parshwanath, Deputy Director of Fisheries, Mangaluru.

According to data available, there are 12 fish exporting entities in the Dakshina Kannada district, 10 in Udupi and 3 in Uttara Kannada district.

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