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Move to Raise Handling Fees at Kochi ICTT Flayed

KOCHI: In a development that could once again affect the functioning of the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam, stakeholders in the industry and export sectors have come up against the move by the Dubai Ports World (DP World) to increase the handling charges at the terminal from January 1.

The trade bodies have sent a ‘joint representation’ to the Cochin Port Trust chairman and the chief executive officer of the Vallarpadam Terminal, requesting to revoke the decision that, according to them, would affect port users in the State.

Earlier, the DP World had announced its decision to implement an across-the-board increase of 3.48 per cent in handling charges at the Vallarpadam Terminal from January 1.

Subsequently, the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and various other agencies in a statement questioned the rationale behind the proposed increase in fees at the wrong time.

“The Kochi Port is already known as a ‘high cost’ port. This has time and again resulted in the Port losing out on potential business. The feedback from our customers in the neighbouring states is that the cost of moving cargo through the Kochi Port is exorbitant compared to the other ports, such as the one in Tamil Nadu.

“There is no justification whatsoever for the increase in handling charges at this point of time,” the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in its statement.

When implemented, the proposed increase will impose a greater financial burden on the Port users, which will definitely lead to further diversion of cargo to the neighbouring ports. This is a situation the Kochi Port cannot afford.

At a time when efforts are being made to ensure greater cargo movement through the Kochi Port, the move by D P World to hike the charges is ill-timed. It will lead to further depletion in the cargo coming to the Port.

The signatories of the joint statement include the All-India Spices Exporters Forum, Cochin Customs House Agents Association, Cochin Steamer Agents Association, Coimbatore Customs House and Steamer Agents Association, Federation of Indian Cashew Industry and the Seafood Exporters Association of India.

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Double bonanza for AP seafood exporters

Vizag: It will be double bonanza for seafood exporters from Visakhapatnam with decisions to improve hygiene at fishing harbour and setting up of a world-class testing lab here.

Thanks to the initiative of local MP K. Haribabu, the AP Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation has cleared a decade-old proposal to set up a seafood testing lab by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with the decision to allot 1,000 square metres at Gambheeram. This will be the only lab in the entire State.

Indian Institute of Management and SAMEER, a R&D Lab under the Ministry of Communications and IT will also come up at Gambheeram.

“Following the demand for allotment of a suitable site, we have identified suitable land at Gambheeram for the testing lab in consultation with the officials of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry,” APIIC Executive Director V. Raghunath told The Hindu .

Visakhapatnam accounts for a major share in seafood exports from the country. The Centre has decided to double exports to $10 billion by 2020.

Seafood exports particularly shrimp has become a Herculean task as the exporters mostly prefer it to send to Chennai for various tests to get certification that the consignments are free from antibiotic residual.

Improved hygiene

Moreover, the unhygienic condition at the fishing harbour also led to rejection of consignments from Visakhapatnam.

Now the Visakhapatnam Port has already initiated talks with the AP Pollution Control Board to decongest the harbour by allowing scrapping of abandoned trawlers.

The abandoned vessels occupy almost one-third of space in the harbour.

Visakhapatnam Port Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu has also announced the constitution of a committee comprising officials and representatives from the fishing industry for ensuring better upkeep of the harbour.

“Improvement in hygiene at fishing harbour and establishment of a testing lab will boost exports benefiting the fishermen and traders a lot,” Association of Indian Fishery Industries president Dr. Y.G.K. Murti said.

Source: The Hindu

Odisha to exploit Portugal’s seafood market

Bhubaneswar, Dec 11 (IANS) Aiming to enhance its export of seafood products, the Odisha government has initiated steps to exploit new market linkages in Portugal.

The government has decided to send a business delegation to Portugal where per capita consumption of marine food is highest in the world. The decision was taken Thursday in a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary G.C. Pati and attended by Jitendra Nath Mishra, Ambassador of India to Portugal.

Mishra proposed sending a business delegation to Portugal headed by Pati to exploit new market linkages for sea food, tourism, textiles and handicrafts products of Odisha in Portugal. While Odisha has vast potential of seafood products, there is also great demand for these products in other countries and regions like European Union and Japan.

“Odisha has the advantage of having naturally grown sea food in Chilika lake. The aquaculture farmers of Odisha also do not use any anti-biotic chemicals. As such, Odisha can claim to be a naturally grown anti-biotic sea food zone,” said a release of Odisha government.

The chief secretary advised fisheries department to examine all the technical details for the purposes of certifying Chilika products as naturally grown seafood.

He also asked the seafood exporters association to set up a marketing promotion cell of seafood for ensuring quality of the products and establishing long-term market linkages.

At present, seafood export from Odisha amount to Rs. 1817 crore with an annual growth rate of 30 percent. Thirty-one seafood processing units are exporting seafood products from the state, out of which 11 processing units have been approved by European Union.

Source: IANS

West Bengal to setup Fish- Fair prices Stores across Kolkata

KOLKATA: The state government has decided to set up fair price shops to sell fish at cheaper rates in markets across the city and adjacent areas. The decision was taken following the task force meeting on price rise that was held by chief minister Mamata Banerjee recently. Previously, the government had set up stores across the city to sell chicken at a fixed price.

(more…)

Karapuzha Reservoir catch is good, but there is a hitch

Kalpetta: An aquaculture project in the Karapuzha reservoir here, launched for unemployed tribal youths, is now stuttering, despite a robust launch, for want for good marketing facilities.

It was in 2009 that the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) and the State Fisheries Department set up the Vanasree tribal fisheries cooperative society at Nellarachal, Wayanad, to provide income to tribes people in the area through fisheries. (more…)

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