In an effort to maintain her livelihood, Lakshadweep begins exporting tuna to Japan
First shipment of tuna loaded at Agatti airport on June 5
- So far, even after 73 years of independence, the Lakshadweep administration has failed to create sustainable basic infrastructure, including an ice factory, refrigerated fish handling centers, etc. for fishermen for various reasons.
- At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka imposed a complete ban on the import of dried fish (Masmeen). The fishermen of Lakshwadeep have been severely affected, with no possibility of a market for over a year.
- Traditional fishing for yellowfin tuna and other fish is permitted at Lakshadweep using a hand liner that can meet the initial immediate demands of daily transport.
Lakshadweep: In a first-of-its-kind intervention to support the livelihoods of local fishermen and improve the island’s export capacity, the Lakshadweep administration hired a private partner to export premium tuna to Japan.
The first and test batch of chilled tuna was successfully loaded at Agatti airport on June 5 and reached Bangalore.
With this successful daily trial, the company plans to expand the trade with more quantities by chartering exclusive cargo flights with a capacity of 5 tons per day from Agatti to Bangalore for onward transportation to Tokyo, Japan.
This chartered flight will bring other essentials from Bangalore and return with tuna.
With over 20,000 km2 of territorial water, Lakshadweep has the greatest potential for tuna, a valuable fish. Over 60% of the population of Lakshadweep depends entirely on fishing for their livelihood.
Of the 12,500 island households, there are approximately 7,197 registered fishermen operating with 2,158 fishing vessels. According to estimated data from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), each year Lakshadweep can harvest up to 1 lakh of metric tonnes of tuna.
“The administration plans to facilitate the export of full-fledged tuna by air freight and via vessels operated directly by selected export companies after September 15. For this, an agreement will be signed between the cooperative societies of fishermen and the exporters. These initiatives will offer a better price and open up new markets for premium Lakshadweep tuna, creating better employment and livelihood opportunities, ”said collector Askar Ali.
So far, even after 73 years of independence, the Lakshadweep administration has failed to create sustainable basic infrastructure, including ice factories, refrigerated fish handling centers, etc. for fishermen for various reasons.
The UT administration gave top priority to improving the fishing community, and immediate decisions were taken to create basic infrastructure to maximize fish catching and promote fish export. .
As a result, 3 large containerized ice factories with German technology were set up in Minicoy, Agatti and Amini islands on the war footing for the first time in the history of Lakshadweep, fishermen began to get ice in these large islands.
Cold stores with a capacity of about 20 tonnes and other infrastructure have also been established on various islands.
The Lakshadweep administration organized a mega meeting of Lakshadweep tuna exporters and stakeholders in Kochi, which was attended by around 50 export companies from Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa.
As a result, a Bangalore-based company, Sashimi Foods Private Limited, with an EU (European Union) approved refrigerated export plant that exports fish and fishery products to Japan has expressed its willingness to export the Lakshadweep fresh tuna directly to Japan as air cargo.