Qeshm Island, Hormuzgan prov, Nov 13, IRNA-Head of the Shrimp Producers Guild's Board of Directors Ali-Akbar Khodaei here Sunday said that the annual per capita consumption of shrimp in Iran currently stands in the range of 29-30 grams.
He told IRNA that about 10,000 tons of shrimp are annually bred in waterways and breeding farms throughout the country.
"Given that 70-80 percent of the shrimp is exported, merely 2,000-3,000 tons are supplied in the domestic market," he added.
Putting the world annual shrimp breeding rate at 1.7-2 million tons, he noted that an equivalent amount is also produced in international waters.
"Thus the global annual per capita shrimp consumption rate amounts to 700 grams.
"This is while, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world annual consumption rate of various aquatics stands at 15 kilograms. Fisheries Organization has put the figure in Iran at 5.5 kilograms," he added.
Khodaei noted that as a broad-based institution, the country's Shrimp Producers Guild has launched an extensive effort to promote the shrimp industry in the belief that it is facing major threats.
He urged that state support for the sector should be such that the product's price fluctuation would not damage the industry.
"Unless the industry becomes institutionalized, it would be vulnerable and subject to high risks," he added.
There are more than 42,000 species of shrimp, most of which are produced in the world waterways and some live in fresh seawater.
Shrimps are classified as phylum Arthropoda (animals with jointed appendages).
Turning to the multifaceted significance of shrimp production in Iran, he said that first of all it provides a remarkable source of nutrition.
"Secondly, Iran's southern coasts, particularly those of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea are quite suitable for breeding such a species of marine food from ecological point of view.
"Meanwhile, its high nutritional value and mineral content, the possibility of its multiplicity, easy breading and mass production within a short period of time, the high demand for it in the world, the remarkable hard currency revenue gained from export and the jobs created by breeding it are among the main factors requiring double support of this new industry," he concluded.
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