Economy, Business And Markets

Domestic Seafood Production to Exceed 1m Tons

Domestic seafood production is expected to exceed 1 million tons this year.
Domestic seafood production is expected to exceed 1 million tons this year.

Head of Iran Fisheries Organization says about 15,000 tons of fish worth $150 million were imported into the country during the last Iranian year (March 2015-16), adding that the figure is dwarfed by the exports of 80,000 tons worth $350 million.

“In other words, the meager imports of the likes of tilapia pose no threat to country’s exports and production,” IRNA also quoted Hassan Salehi as saying.

Iran Fisheries Organization recently gave the go-ahead for the local farming of tilapia in the central Yazd Province in cooperation with the Department of Environment.

According to Salehi, a 32% tariff has been set for the import of tilapia in support of domestic production. More than $60 million worth of the fish species were imported in the last Iranian year.

Noting that last year’s huge demand for Iranian seafood, particularly shrimp, outstripped supply, the official said Canada, the US, the UK, Vietnam and Thailand are willing to invest in Iran’s seafood industry.  

Salehi also predicted that domestic seafood production will exceed 1 million tons this year.

“Five-month exports of 32,824 tons of seafood earned the country $95 million, registering a 51% and 36% growth in terms of weight and value over last year’s corresponding period. Also, 400 kilograms of caviar were exported in the five-month period, showing a 90% rise year-on-year,” he said.

On Sunday, Iran’s Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati and his visiting Chinese counterpart Han Changfu signed an agreement in Tehran for Chinese investment of $3 billion in Iran’s fishing industry, particularly cage-based aquaculture.

Fish production through cage farming experienced a fourfold increase in the last Iranian year compared with the previous year and reached 20,000 tons.

According to Salehi, Iran has the capacity to produce 1 million tons of fish in cages in the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea in the south.

Iran Fisheries Organization has set an annual target of harvesting 84,000 tons of fish through cage farming on Hormozgan’s Qeshm Island.

Cage fish farming is a relatively new method in Iran, whereby cages are placed in lakes, ponds, rivers or seas to breed fish until they can be harvested.