Staff Reporter

Seed centre to be set up

It will be set up in 100 acres to produce disease-free shrimp

Mother shrimp for seed production is being imported from Hawai

Srikakulam: The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) is embarking on establishment of a black tiger shrimp seed multiplication centre, the first of the kind in the State, at Mulapalem village in Sompeta mandal in the district.

Land acquired

The black tiger shrimp production centre will be set up in an area of 100 acres at a cost of Rs.20 crores using state-of-the-art technology in the production of disease-free shrimp

. Land has already been purchased from farmers. Civic works will shortly be launched.

According to sources in the NFDB, the annual shrimp seed production proposed is of the order of 3 billion seed per year. The mother shrimp for production of seed is being imported from Hawai. The project will be implemented under the supervision of Hong Kong consultant Moana Technologies.

The production of disease-free shrimp seed is in line with the assurance of Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh that a disease-free mother shrimp centres would be developed at Andaman Islands and at other places.

Srikakulam district has been chosen to be the nerve centre for supply of shrimp seed for farmers in the entire State.

Viral infection

Many shrimp hatcheries were established in the coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Nellore a decade ago when the craze for aquaculture was at its high.

The boom and the massive profits generated in the export of tiger prawn prompted thousands of paddy farmers to convert their fertile fields into aquaculture farms until the yellow head disease played the spoil sport, leading to the collapse of shrimp exports worldwide, with particular reference to India.

The yellow head disease (YHD) is a viral infection of shrimp seed and prawn, in particular of the giant tiger prawn.

The disease is lethal and contagious. Outbreak of the disease wiped out in a matter of days the entire population in the shrimp farms, particularly in South East Asian farms.

In Thai, the disease is called ‘Hua Leung’. The infected shrimp turns yellow after a period of unusually high breeding activity ending abruptly and then moribund shrimps congregate near the surface of the pond before dying.

Aquaculture farming collapsed ever since the outbreak of the virus in the 1990s.

The industry had not recovered from the shock.

In order to revive the industry, the Ministry of Commerce embarked on establishing disease-free seed production centres at select places.

In this context, the establishment of shrimp seed supply centre in the district will be a boon to the farmers.