EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 23,462 tons of seafood worth $37.41 million were exported from Iran to 34 countries in the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 20-July 20), according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“Caviar exports accounted for around 606 tons worth $727,000 of the total sum. Other main exported products were trout, eel, beluga, shark, tuna, crab, shrimp, ornamental fish and different kinds of frozen or dried fish,” Rouhollah Latifi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, the UAE, China, Hong Kong, Russia, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Kuwait and Armenia were the main export destinations.
Iran imported around 3.305 tons of seafood worth $6.98 million from 18 countries during the same period, he added.
The imports were mostly from Singapore, China and India.
More than 1.28 million tons of seafood were produced in Iran in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20)
The figure shows a slight increase compared with the previous fiscal year when the total output amounted to 1.26 million tons, according to Nabiollah Khunmirzaei, the head of Iran’s Fisheries Organization.
The output target for the current fiscal year (started March 20) is at 1.6 million tons.
According to the official, the government estimates that some 24,000 jobs could be created in the aquaculture sector over the next 10 months.
Iran is a major seafood producer in the region with trout, caviar and shrimp currently being the main exported items.
Khanmirzaei noted that Iran is currently the world's third biggest in sturgeon farming and processing.
Iran’s per capita seafood consumption currently stands at around 12 kilograms per year.
According to Golshahi, IFO aims to bring this figure close to the annual global average of 20 kilograms.
“Over the past few years, Iran has set up cages for fish farming in the sea as well as water bodies behind dams to expand the industry, because of which domestic demand for fish powder has increased,” he said, stressing that part of the demand is supplied locally.
Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province in southwest Iran accounts for 40% of Iran's seafood production. The province has the capacity to produce 240,000 tons of seafood per year.
Middle East's biggest seafood production units is active in the industrial city of Shahr-e Kord.
Located 97 km of the central Iranian province of Isfahan, Shahr-e Kord is the first city in Iran with the capacity to breed salmon.