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Pakistani seafood makes way into KSA despite ban

Pakistani seafood makes way into KSA despite ban

KARACHI: Smuggling of fresh seafood from south Asia to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is going on through UAE after it banned import of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani fish and shrimp products, sources said.

To offset the Saudi restrictions, traders are now using Dubai as a route to smuggle the seafood items into Kingdom’s key cities, they said.

The ban was imposed after finding pig-meat ingredients in Indian farm fish and shrimp, sources added. Pakistani seafood export suffered for not being qualifying to the Kingdom’s food specifications.

About a couple of weeks ago, Kuwait had also rejected Pakistan’s consignments of fresh seafood products for being unsuitable for human consumption, for which exporters of frozen fish and shrimp products widely held Marine Fisheries Department responsible.

Sources said that both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were the major markets for Pakistani fresh seafood items. They feared that losing of either market will pull down the country’s annual foreign exchange earnings from fisheries sector.

Pakistan Fisheries Exporters Association has said that its member exporters of the fresh and frozen seafood products were fully complying with the EU and other world markets safety and health standards. It disowned the fresh seafood exporters using fake documents to export low-quality fresh seafood consignments to world markets.