India’s Shrimp Export Industry Faces Allegations Amidst Global Dominance

India’s Shrimp Export Industry Faces Allegations Amidst Global Dominance

India has become the largest supplier of shrimps to the United States, with a significant rise in exports. However, recent allegations of human rights and environmental abuses have been refuted by Indian officials.

Overview of India’s Seafood Exports

  • In 2022-23, India’s seafood exports reached $8.09 billion or ₹64,000 crore, with shrimps constituting a substantial portion.
  • Shrimp exports from India amounted to $5.6 billion in the same period.
  • India’s share in the U.S. shrimp market has increased from 21% to 40% in 2022-23, surpassing competitors like Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Ecuador.

Allegations and Response

  • The Corporate Accountability Lab (CAL) raised concerns about working conditions in shrimp hatcheries, growing ponds, and peeling sheds.
  • Indian officials have dismissed these allegations as baseless, asserting that the entire shrimp export value chain is certified by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), ensuring compliance with international standards.
  • It is believed that the allegations aim to tarnish India’s aquaculture sector’s reputation in global markets.

Industry Landscape

  • Approximately a hundred thousand shrimp farms in Andhra Pradesh contribute nearly 70% of India’s shrimp output.
  • Women constitute about 70% of the workforce in the sector, with employment opportunities in hatcheries, aquaculture farms, processing, and freezing units.

Future Plans and Measures

  • The Ministry of Commerce aims to increase seafood exports to ₹1 lakh crore by 2025-26.
  • To address concerns, exporters may commission independent studies on working conditions at shrimp farms.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government has been requested to investigate allegations made in the CAL report.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Indian regulatory agencies and international bodies like the USFDA, European Commission, and GAC of China monitor the shrimp value chain, ensuring compliance with international regulations.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. What was India’s seafood export value in 2022-23?
    • A) $5.6 billion
    • B) $8.09 billion
    • C) $2.4 billion
    • D) ₹1 lakh crore
    • Answer: B) $8.09 billion
  2. What percentage of India’s shrimp exports is accounted for by Andhra Pradesh?
    • A) 40%
    • B) 30%
    • C) 70%
    • D) 50%
    • Answer: C) 70%
  3. Who raised allegations of human rights and environmental abuses against India’s shrimp industry?
    • A) European Commission
    • B) USFDA
    • C) Corporate Accountability Lab (CAL)
    • D) GAC of China
    • Answer: C) Corporate Accountability Lab (CAL)
  4. What percentage of India’s shrimp farming and processing sector workforce comprises women?
    • A) 50%
    • B) 60%
    • C) 70%
    • D) 40%
    • Answer: C) 70%
  5. Which agency certifies the entire shrimp export value chain in India?
    • A) USFDA
    • B) MPEDA
    • C) GAC of China
    • D) European Commission
    • Answer: B) MPEDA