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UAE Imposes Ban on Indian Shrimp and Lobster Imports

The Indian Shrimps and Lobsters import is suspended by UAE and the ban will continue until India sufficiently guarantees the safety of the products exported.

Shivangi Rai
The ban will continue until India sufficiently guarantees the safety of the products exported
The ban will continue until India sufficiently guarantees the safety of the products exported

There is a suspension on the imports of Indian shrimps and lobsters by Saudi Arabia caught in the sea after the detection of the white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in the frozen shrimp consignments.

According to the directive of the Saudi Food & Drug Authority, the ban will continue until India sufficiently guarantees the safety of the products exported and the assurance that WSSV will not be transferred to the fisheries of Saudi Arabia.

With this, Saudi has imposed a complete ban on the imports of lobsters and shrimps from India. Sources also say that, in January 2017, they had put a temporary ban on the imports of frozen, fresh, and chilled farmed shrimps from India due to the presence of WSSV in L. vannamei and it is still continuing.

Jagdish Fofandi, National President of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, criticizing the incident, said that Saudi Arabia is only one among the mid-size markets for Indian seafood and not a top buyer for the time being. There would not be any major impact on marine product exports due to the ban as only a few players are doing business. In addition to this, he said, though, Saudi Arabia could be a potential market if the authorities there initiate measures to open up, as the country is doing very little compared to the other Gulf nations due to procedural issues.

During 2021-22, the MPEDA figures reveal that Saudi Arabia bought 7,228 tonnes of marine products from India in frozen shrimp comprising only 4,642 tonnes for a value of Rs 2.42 crores out of the total marine products shipment of Rs 2.81 crores.

WSSV is emerging as one of the most widespread, prevalent, and lethal pathogens for shrimp populations causing high levels of mortality in farmed shrimps. Though, in almost all tropical countries including India, WSSV is present in the waters. The countries can effectively control its outbreak in the aqua farming systems.

During 2010-11, it is also obvious from the fact that shrimp culture which was just 1.36 lakh tonnes has witnessed a tenfold rise in the decade with the total shrimp production crossing 10 lakh tonnes in 2021-22. Sources said this could be achieved through the adoption of several bio-security measures by the country.

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