Friday, November 11, 2016

11/11/2016: Status and prospects shrimp aquaculture in India

by Dr B. Laxmappa, Ph.D, Department of Fisheries, Telangana, India

Aquaculture in India has evolved as a viable commercial farming practice from the level of traditionally backyard activity over the last three decades with considerable diversification in terms of species and systems, and has been showing an impressive annual growth rate of 6-7 percent.

India is also an important country that produces fish through aquaculture in the world. Presently, the country ranks second in the world in total fish production with an annual fish production of about nine million metric tonnes.

As the second largest country in aquaculture production, the share of brackish-water sector includes culture of shrimp varieties mainly, the native giant tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon and exotic white-leg shrimp, Penaeus vannamei.

Present status Brackish water aquaculture in India is restricted to shrimp farming utilizing semi-intensive culture practices mainly with giant tiger prawn at stocking densities of 0.1–0.3 million/ha. With the provision of a high protein diet, water exchange, aeration and improved health management, production levels of 4–6 tonnes/ha have been demonstrated in a production period of 4–5 months.

However, the presence of white spot syndrome during 1994–1995 drastically reduced prawn-farming activity in the late 1990s. The adoption of a more cautious approach including moderate stocking densities and good management practices has helped in the revival of the sector and in sustaining shrimp production of the country.

Furthermore, with the recent introduction of P. vannamei, the shrimp culture is again regaining its glory of export earner at large. Brackish water aquaculture in India is concentrated around the giant tiger prawn (P. monodon) as the single most important species.

Recently, the culture of exotic, white-leg shrimp, P. vannamei, however, has attracted the farmers’ attention because of its fast growth, low incidence of native diseases, availability of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) domesticated strains and culture feasibility in wide salinity range.

With the production levels of 10–12 tonnes/ha/crop of 3-4 months duration the production of this species has reached to a level of 353,413 tonnes during 2014–15. Brackish water aquaculture is mainly concentrated on the coasts of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and West Bengal in India.

With regards to the market, while the main areas of consumption for freshwater fish are in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and northeastern India. Cultured brackish water shrimps are destined mainly for export. Among the coastal states, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh was the largest producer of P. monodon and P. vannamei shrimp respectively in the country during the year 2014-15.

Today P. vannamei is the largest cultured shrimp in terms of production and productivity in India. Andhra Pradesh tops in area under culture and production followed by Tamil Nadu way behind (Table: 1 & 2). The commercial farming of tiger shrimp declined gradually and vennamei shrimp started increasing significantly from the year 2010-11.

With the development of shrimp culture practice from traditional form to modern intensive culture practice, the complexity of diseases has been equally magnified in India.

The frequent outbreaks of diseases such as White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), Black Gill Disease (BGD), Running Mortality Syndrome (RMS), Loose Shell Syndrome (LSS), White Faecal Syndrome (WFS), White Muscle Disease (WMD) and Infectious Hypodermal and Haematopoietic Necrosis (IHHN) in shrimps, causes economic loss to the aquaculture industry.

Farmers are losing 15-25 percent of their investment due to these diseases in every crop in the season. The shrimp aquaculture industry has experienced severe setbacks due to devastating viral diseases. L. vannamei is an exotic species and culturing both in freshwater and saline waters in the country. The viral outbreaks are minimal in low saline waters compared to the high saline waters with the best management practices.

Read the full article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
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