The idea is to encourage farming of L. Vannamei
In a shot in the arm for aqua farmers, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and the Andhra Pradesh government will set up two aquatic quarantine facilities in Visakhapatnam and Nellore to encourage farming of L. Vannamei, a brood stock imported in large quantity.
Also known as white-leg shrimp, Vannamei has become quite popular among exporters due to its demand in Europe, the United States and other areas.
It is priced less than tiger and other export-centric shrimp and is known for its high culinary value. A.P., which has 974-km coastline, the largest after Gujarat, is the leading exporter of seafood in the country.
“We will shortly open world-class testing labs along with other facilities in Visakhapatnam and Nellore – two leading seafood export centres,” Minister for Agriculture and Marketing Prathipati Pulla Rao toldThe Hindu . The facilities will have quarantine cubicles, full-fledged labs to screen pathogens, fumigation chamber and trucks to transport the brood stock with thermo-controlled insulation. At present, for want of testing facility, farmers from AP are depending on Chennai to conduct the tests. L Vannamei testing lab was introduced in Cehnnai in 2009 by the MPEDA, which is under the Ministry of Commerce. Coastal Aquaculture Authority is the agency which regulates the breeding of Vannamei. Visakhapatnam, as per a report prepared by the MPEDA, was the largest seafood landing centre for exports with the consignments sent from Visakhapatnam Port during 2014-15 valued at Rs.7,578 crore.
“With white shrimp culture becoming popular, achieving our export turnover of $6 billion by 2020 will become easy once the quarantine facilities come up in Visakhapatnam and Nellore. We also wanted one more set up in Kakinada,” said Federation of Indian Fisheries Industries president Y.G.K. Murti.
Frozen shrimp formed 67.19 per cent of seafood exports worth Rs.33,441 crore during 2014-15. The industry has been demanding development of cold storage, value addition and airlifting of tuna and other high-value sea-captured fish from Visakhapatnam International Airport to increase foreign exchange earnings.