Mangaluru: There is high demand in Gulf countries for fresh fish from coastal districts. But, fish exports have suffered major setback due to airlines backing out
Fresh fish can be sent to Gulf countries by air either on the same day or within a couple of days. But export of fresh fish from Mangalore airport is not allowed. Before Lockdown, it was transported by road to Bangalore, Goa, Kozhikode or Trivandrum and from there it was sent by air. It is expensive both in terms of money and time which is why fresh fish export is a problem.
Three years ago, Fresh fish was exported from Mangalore by Air India flight. But due to improper packaging there were technical issues in the flight and the export had to be stopped.
Authorities are thinking of launching an IndiGo flight from Mangalore to Dubai and discussing of exporting fish through the flight.
Also, due to the privatization of Mangalore Airport, it is expected that cargo flights may get more importance which will allow for the export of various products from the coast
Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, Dakshina Kannada, said “Around 69,000 MT fish are exported from DK and Udupi districts. Frozen fish are shipped from the NMPT port through ship as it can be stored for up to 9 months. Fresh fish can only be stored for 3-4 days. Hence, it has to be exported by plane. Currently, there are no flights that go abroad. We will discuss the issue with concerned authorities and take action”
Isaac Vaz, President, Canara Commercial and Industrial Organization, said, “ Air India CEO has been requested to allow the export of fresh fish. If it is accepted, then there may be some improvement in the fishing activities”