Santosh Patnaik

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Centre’s decision to allow import of Vennamei (Paneaus Vannamei) seed from Hawaii to introduce production of white shrimp replacing ‘Black Tigers’ will usher in a revolution in the Indian marine industry.

The government delayed permission to import the seed due to fears over safety of brood stock and a virus called TVS. However, the Hawaii seed is said to be 100 per cent specific, pathogen-free.

After a two-year experiment, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) gave permission to Sarat Seafoods and BMR Hatcheries, Nellore to take up production. Some other firms have also sought clearance from Aquaculture Authority of India. “We are very much excited over the decision and hope that we can regain our hold over overseas market in record time,” president, Association of Indian Fishery Industries YGK Murthy told The Hindu.

Drastic fall

During the past few years, the demand for ‘Black Tigers’ has fallen drastically due to availability of low-priced white shrimp. India’s annual shrimp yield, mostly ‘Black Tiger’, has remained stagnant at 1.5 lakh tonne compared to other exporting countries in Asia.He admitted that India would be a late entrant in marketing white shrimp, but there would be no looking back once a foothold was gained. Vennamei shrimps are cost-effective as full-size ones grow in 60 to 90 days against 90 to 120 days in the case of ‘Black Tigers’. “There is heavy demand in overseas market ,” former Vice-Chairman of MPEDA, K. Haribabu reiterated.