Three new cubicles to quarantine 35,640 brood stock of imported shrimp species, L. Vannamei, were commissioned here on Wednesday.

G.C. Pati, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Union Ministry of Agriculture, inaugurated them.

This is the second phase of the quarantine facility. In the first phase, four quarantine cubicles were created at a cost of Rs. 2.89 crore, which will accommodate 47,520 imported brood stock of the shrimp, he said. A total of 20 cubicles would be created to accommodate 2.37 lakh shrimp brood stock in four phases.

The total requirement of the hatchery industry was 2 lakh brood stock of imported shrimps. At present only 80,000 is imported owing to lack of quarantine facilities.

Once the four phases of the quarantines are completed, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) will be able to distribute the stock to hatchery farmer without any problem, he said.

S.R. Rao, Union Commerce Secretary, said marine products worth $3.5 billion to 4 billion were exported annually from the country. Aquaculture was a laboratory-intensive sector, which could provide good employment to labours in the rural areas. Most of the hatcheries were functioning in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

By 2015, the Centre had fixed a target of 7 million tonnes of marine products export, and brood stock of shrimps is mainly imported from Hawaii and Thailand. The Commerce Ministry funded the first two phases of quarantine by providing sums to the tune of Rs. 9.97 crore, he said. During 2011-12 an increase of 20 per cent in the sea food export was recorded in the country, which was higher than the corresponding period in 2010-11. During 2012-13, a slight decline of seven per cent had been recorded in the sea food export, he added.

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