Pakistan’s seafood export to China topped $ 141.57 million, an increase of 34% in the month of January-September year-on-year, Gwadar Pro reported on Saturday quoting the China’s General Administration of Customs. According to the Customs’ data Administration of Customs, the trade of flours & meals of fish, used in animal feeding commodity code (23012010) from Pakistan to China crossed $ 49.48 million. In terms of volume in January-September more than 43549.19 tons were imported from Pakistan while last year in the same period it was 28486.12 tons. Data showed that in 2021, the total fish meals used in animal feeding, imported from Pakistan was 40654.92 tons, worth $ 40.53 million. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade between Pakistan and China has increased significantly. Pakistan’s export to China stood at $ 2.57 billion in the first nine months (January- September) of FY22, up 2 percent from $ 2.51 billion in the same period of the previous year, which has grown for three consecutive years. According to the data, Pakistan’s export of frozen fish (commodity code 03038990) to China crossed $ 37 million, while the frozen cuttlefish (commodity code 03074310) crossed $ 16 million whereas frozen flat fish and scabbard fish topped $ 6 million, and $3 million respectively. Khurram Naseeb, from A-One Fishmeal, based in Karachi told Gwadar Pro that “the rise in the international price of alternate protein sources like soya bean, rapeseed meal, etc. contributed to an increase in demand for Pakistani fishmeal in China. As fishmeal is also used in the aqua feed, Chinese aquatic farmers this year favored a further demand for fishmeal,” he stated. He further said that the Chinese currency (RMB) was strong at the start of the year making imports favorable for the Chinese. He added that Pakistan’s fishery processing industry needs to advance a lot to enhance its export, although due to the 2nd Free Trade Agreement more than 313 items are now enjoying duty-free access to China including fisheries. Dr. Omer Mukhtar Tarar, Principal Scientific Officer, Food Technology & Nutrition Section, PCSIR Labs Complex, Karachi told Gwadar Pro that Pakistan is blessed with plenty of aquatic resources. Fish meal is a product of the fishery industry and is highly valuable for local consumption as well as for export purposes. To fulfill the buyer’s requirements, the quality of fish meals should meet global standards. “Moreover, maintaining the cold chain during the transportation of fish to a processing unit, TVBN reduction strategies in fish meal, and adoption of a strong quality assurance mechanism at processing units are the few steps which are being carried out presently,” he mentioned. He further said that seafood including fish meal industry as well as public organizations are striving to achieve all advanced international standard and facilities, adding that efforts are underway to maintain the supply chain in fishing boats for meal-grade fish.