Indian Fishermen Call For Govt Action On U.S. Seafood Export Restrictions


(MENAFN- KNN India) New Delhi, Jul 8 (KNN)
In a recent development, Indian fishermen have appealed to their government to address the ongoing U.S. restrictions on seafood imports, specifically related to the use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs).

These devices are designed to allow sea turtles to escape from fishing nets.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance in the United States has repeatedly raised concerns about Indian fishing practices.

However, the Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi, an independent fishermen's trade union based in Kochi, argues that these concerns primarily reflect the alliance's financial interests rather than environmental concerns.

The U.S. implemented import restrictions in 2019, citing the protection of sea turtles. The Indian fishermen's union contends that sea turtles are not at significant risk in most Indian trawling areas.

Charles George, a representative of the union, noted that only the Orissa coast has a substantial sea turtle population, and the state has already imposed a trawling ban during the turtle spawning season.

The trade restrictions have had severe economic implications for India's seafood industry. Several processors have faced financial difficulties, with some forced to cease operations.

Sea-caught shrimp, valued at approximately Rs 2,000 crore, represents a significant portion of India's Rs 67,000 crore shrimp export market.

The U.S. restrictions have also indirectly affected exports to other markets, as countries like China, Japan, and EU nations have been able to purchase Indian shrimp at lower rates.

The fishermen's union is calling for both state and central governments to take decisive action to protect the interests of the shrimp industry and local fishermen.

This situation highlights the complex interplay between international trade regulations, environmental concerns, and the economic well-being of local fishing communities.

As the debate continues, stakeholders on all sides await potential government intervention and policy changes.

(KNN Bureau)

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