Andhra Pradesh

Centre relaxes import of L. Vannamei to Chennai’s Aquatic Quarantine Facility

Decision will help aqua farmers in A.P., Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Gujarat in the wake of COVID-19: MPEDA Chairman K. S. Srinivas

Relaxation in rules for import of shrimp brood stock to the Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF), at Chennai, will help the aquaculture sector which was in crisis due to the COVID-19 spread in over 180 countries across the globe.

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, was operating an AQF at Neelankarai, Chennai, through MPEDA’s R&D wing, Rajiv Gandhi Cente for Aquaculture (RGCA).

An old facility

MPEDA was quarantining imported brood stocks and Post Parental Larvae (PPL) of pacific while leg shrimp (L. Vannamei) and Tiger shrimp (P. Monodon) for the last 10 years. Brood stocks were imported by Indian hatcheries after obtaining Sanitary Import Permits (SIPs) from the Department of Fisheries. Later, the brood stocks will be used for producing seed.

The AQF has 20 cubicles for quarantine operations and the hatchery operators will book the cubicles in advance.

“Since 2009, we quarantined more than 15 lakh brood stocks imported from various countries mainly from USA with 94 per cent quarantine survival in the AQF. This has resulted in manifold increase in aquaculture production in the country. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference on Tuesday, announced several relaxations to the aqua sector to tide over the present situation arising due to Coronavirus,” said MPEDA Chairman K.S. Srinivas.

Three months extension

The minister extended SIPs for three months which were to expire on April 15, 2020. Import of any consignment during this period, if delayed for a month shall be overlooked.

Rebooking of quarantine cubicles at AQF for cancelled consignments in AQF, Chennai, will be allowed without any additional charges, which will he helpful for hatchery owners. Verification of documents and grant of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for quarantine would be relaxed, Ms. Sitharaman assured, the Chairman said.

A breather for all

RGCA all India Project Director S. Kandan said the cubicles in the AQF will be opened from April 15 to September end, 2020, for the first half of 2020-2021, to enable hatchery operators in the country to use the facility.

The Government of India’s decision will help some lakhs of aqua farmers, hatchery owners, seed producers and other stakeholders in the country in wake of the crisis which arose due to COVID-19, Mr. Srinivas said.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 9:41:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/centre-relaxes-import-at-aqf/article31162964.ece

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