The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is documenting the drugs used in aquaculture, said JK Jena, Deputy Director General of ICAR.
Addressing an international workshop on ‘Strengthening capacities, policies and national action plans on prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials in fisheries’ in Mangaluru on Monday, he said ICAR is trying to gather information from all over the country on the drugs used in aquaculture. Efforts are being made to document the drugs, disinfectants, probiotics, and antibiotics used in aquaculture, he added.
Eight research institutes under ICAR that are related to the fisheries sector are working on the project. Once the database is made, creating awareness among stakeholders will be the next target.
On the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture, he said shrimp, which is exported, needs to adhere to the guidelines of importing countries. In such a situation, the use of antibiotics in that sector is almost nil.
Use of antimicrobials
He said farmers could not afford antibiotics in fresh water aquaculture as most of the catch is of cheap fishes. One sector where antibiotics are used in the country to some extent is ornamental fishes, but the usage is limited, he said.
Indrani Karunasagar, Director (R&D) of Nitte University (which hosted the workshop), said that Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has taken the lead to help member countries address the issue of antimicrobial resistance in a coordinated manner, by developing national action plans on the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture. FAO has chosen Nitte University to host this international workshop in aquatic animal health area, she added.