Japan clears Indian ‘Black Tiger’ shrimps for imports

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Japan has allowed import of giant tiger prawns from India. It has completely lifted inspection of Indian ‘Black Tiger’ shrimps after export consignments of this delectable prawn variety were found totally free from any residue of synthetic anti-bacterial drug furazolidone, state-run Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said.

Black Tiger shrimp, commonly known as the giant tiger prawn or Asian Tiger shrimp, is a popular seafood the world over, and forms an important segment of India’s marine products export basket. Japan consumes nearly 40 per cent of India’s Black Tiger shrimp exports, while it enjoys niche markets in the EU and the US.

MPEDA said Japan’s decision would boost the morale of Indian seafood exporters who are battling various trade and logistic issues in the wake of the pandemic that adversely affected the seafood markets abroad.

MPEDA has been raising the request to exempt Black Tiger from import inspection for antibiotic residue at various platforms. The decision by Japanese authorities will further enhance farming and export of the Black Tiger variety, especially from West Bengal and Kerala. 

MPEDA’s new Multispecies Aquaculture Complex at Vallarpadam in Kochi has been making sustained efforts to revive production of Black Tiger shrimps by supplying healthy seeds to farmers.

The Food Inspection and Safety Division of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had earlier reduced import inspection sampling frequency for Black Tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) to 30 per cent from 100 per cent through a notification issued on March 25 this year.

Since there were no detections of furazolidone in further export consignments from India, Japan has decided to provide complete relaxation in inspection of import sampling frequency in tune with Section 3, Article 26 of its Food Sanitation Act.

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