0331 GMT July 14, 2020
In light of the implemented measures, exports of aquatic animals from the southern Iranian province of Hormuzgan are expected to reach 75,000 tons by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2021), said the director general of the provincial fisheries organization.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Abdolrasoul Dariaei added that last year the province exported 70,000 tons of fisheries.
He noted that in the year to March 2020, the province produced over 28,000 tons of aquatic animals to rank first in the country in terms of pisciculture.
Dariaei said that in addition, in this period, 330,000 tons of marine animals were caught in the province, helping it climb to the top position in the country in this regard.
“Overall, the province accounts for 25 percent of the country’s fishery production.”
He listed some of the farmed aquatic animals as marine (saltwater) and warm-water fish as well as shrimp.
The official said Hormuzgan Province ranks first in the country in terms of exporting fishery products, accounting for 80 percent of Iran’s total annual overseas sales of aquatic animals.
He added Southeast Asian countries and the Persian Gulf littoral states are the main export destinations.
Dariaei noted that in the previous calendar year, Hormuzgan produced more than 22,000 tons of farmed shrimp to become the country’s top producer of the crustacean, saying shrimp exports account for close to 26 percent of the total yearly overseas sales of aquatic animals from the province.
Iranian producers of aquatic animals involved in mariculture, an emerging industry in the country, are finding new domestic and international markets for their products, he said, stressing that once they increase output, exports of such products will generate substantial revenues.
Commenting on cage fish farming in the province, the official said Hormuzgan was the country’s first province to use the method and, having produced 5,900 tons of marine fish over a year, has turned into Iran’s mariculture hub.
He put Iran’s annual marine fish production capacity at 113,000 tons, adding that given the huge potential, last year, permits were granted for producing close to 3,800 tons of such fish and setting up marine farms with a yearly production capacity of 200,000 tons.
Dariaei noted that in addition, in the same year, substantive agreements were issued in the country for producing 43,500 tons of aquatic animals through mariculture.
He expressed hope that the industry will see a surge in output if those involved in it are provided with cheap foreign currency resources and low-interest loans as well as modern technical equipment.
Dariaei said thanks to the efforts and measures taken by domestic officials and the private sector, US unilateral sanctions and the coronavirus spread have had minimum negative impacts on the country’s exports of aquatic animals, adding that plans are underway by Iran Fisheries Organization to compensate for the sector’s declining growth in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. Mainly targeting the country’s oil and banking sectors, the sanctions have made it difficult for Iranian exporters to send and receive money to and from other states.
The new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, emerged in the city of Wuhan in December last year, incrementally affecting the rest of the world. In Iran, the first infected individuals were identified in late February.
He noted that Hormuzgan Province is a few steps ahead of its development plan for the fishery sector.
Hormuzgan Province has helped the country gain a global reputation in the field of fishery, thanks to its enormous capacities in fishing, aquaculture and processing the products, the official said.
He added the province is a leading producer of sturgeon in the country.
Dariaei said the fishery industry had created over 45,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province.