Bengal has potential to earn Rs 20000 crore from seafood export in next 5 years
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Kolkata: West Bengal has the potential to earn Rs 18000 crore to Rs 20000 crore from seafood exports in the next five years and the state government’s recent ban on use of 20 antibiotics in shrimp aquaculture will go a long way in boosting revenue from the sector, an official of seafood exporters body said.

Traces of antibiotic residue are a major headwind for exports and a step toward preventing marine exports from the state, Seafood Exporters Association (SEA) president (West Bengal) Rajarshi Banerji said.

“The state government has banned 20 antibiotics in the state for use in aquaculture farming. We have achieved the feat after a decade-long fight,” he said on Friday.

The West Bengal fisheries department banned the use of 20 antibiotics and other pharmacologically active substances in shrimp aquaculture on July 25 and has formed task forces at the district level to monitor it.

“Seafood exports from Bengal have grown six times in eight years to Rs 8000-9000 crore now and in the next five years it can grow to Rs 18000-20,000 crore. The government should continue to take such proactive steps,” Banerji said.

Shrimps account for the lion share of the export earning in marine products and the ban on antibiotics and its proper implementation by the state government will help the industry grow and create huge employment, he said.

The prohibition came into effect in July end. It follows the country’s apex drug regulatory authority asking states and union territories to restrict the availability and use of banned veterinary antibiotics used in aquaculture, particularly for shrimps.

Kolkata will host the 23rd edition of India International Seafood Show on February 15-17, 2023, after a gap of 16 years by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in association with SEA, the official said.

The MPEDA is a statutory body established in 1972 under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry for the promotion of marine products export from India.

The state government has set up district level monitoring committees under district magistrates to implement the ban.

The task force committee will carry out raids or random checks in shops and suppliers for compliance, the government order said.

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