Fishing vessels, cold storages need bank aid: Anand Sharma

Chennai, Jan 10 : Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma urged banks to aid acquisition of fishing vessels and setting up of cold chains, so that the country's exclusive economic zone in the sea could be better exploited.

Better and sustainable use of resources in the sea would also double seafood exports by 2020 to $10 billion, the minister said.

Anand Sharma was inaugurating the 19th India International Seafood Show (IISS) here Friday.

The three-day show is jointly organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).

Fishermen in Tamil Nadu told IANS that banks are not willing to lend to fishermen.

According to Sharma, the country has a coastline of around 8,000 km and over two million square km of exclusive economic zone in the sea. The question was how to exploit this zone in a sustainable manner.

He said the seafood export target for the current fiscal is $4.3 billion and next year it is set to cross $5 billion.

"By 2020, Indian seafood export is to double from next year's levels," Sharma said.

Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister K.A. Jayapal said seafood exports from the state stood at over Rs.3,300 crore last fiscal.

He said there is good domestic demand for seafood, apart from exports. He also detailed the government's plans to encourage the sector.

--IANS (Posted on 10-01-2014)

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