‘Unscientific practices to blame for widespread Vannamei infestation’

March 23, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 06:01 am IST - MACHILIPATNAM:

Vannamei production worth nearly Rs. 600 crore was found infected with white spot and other diseases in Krishna district in the year 2015 alone, reveal statistics by the Krishna District Fisheries Department.

Explaining the grim picture of the present state of aqua industry and repercussions of following unscientific aquaculture practices, Krishna District Fisheries Department Assistant Director A. Solemn Raju on Tuesday confirmed that at least 11,000 tonnes of Vannamei production was infected with various diseases, including white spot, in brackish water aqua ponds across the district. “Lack of quality brood stock of Vannamei is said to be one of the reasons for the diseases in Krishna district,” he added.

According to Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture, a majority of the Vannamei brooders came from Florida, U.S.A, to Andhra Pradesh, and farmers also reportedly rely on local hatcheries for brooders. Addressing aqua farmers during a workshop on ‘better management practices in shrimp cultivation’ here, Mr. Raju said that barely 3,000 hectares of brackish water ponds were registered by the Fisheries Department, while over 27,000 hectares of ponds under the shrimp cultivation were yet to registered in order to monitor shrimp cultivation practices in the district.

The workshop was conducted by Kakinada-based National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) of the Marine Products Export Development Authority. NaCSA chief executive officer K. Shanmukha Rao advised the shrimp farmers to take more precautionary measures to avoid spread of diseases in the Vannamei, as there was no medical treatment available to cure ‘white spot’ diseases.

Speaking about the rejection of Vannamei production from Andhra Pradesh by European countries due to various reasons, Mr. Rao promised that the NaCSA will rigorously work on improving the quality of production and cycle of packaging, while maintaining hygienic conditions as per the standards of the European Union. India bagged fifth place among the 30 shrimp production countries in the world by exporting shrimp worth over Rs. 22,000 crore in the financial year 2015-16. In India, Andhra Pradesh is one of the major shrimp exporting States to the European Union.

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