Aquaculture set to get major boost in State in India

‘L. vannamei hatcheries will be in the comfort zone soon’

The decision to set up a world-class Aquatic Quarantine Facility and Brood-stock Multiplication Centre at Bangarammapeta in Nakkapalli mandal at a cost of ₹68 crore has brought cheer to aqua farmers of the State.

Andhra Pradesh being a major hub for shrimp production is home to 391 L. vannamei hatcheries producing surplus shrimp seed to meet the requirement from within and outside the State.

The State ranks third in global shrimp production (0.3 million tonnes) and sixth in aquaculture production (1.57 million tonnes).

Society of Aquaculture Professionals vice-president Yellanki Ravi Kumar told The Hindu that the twin projects would help in supplying superior quality L. vannamei (white-leg shrimp) brood-stock to hatchery operators and specific pathogen-free seeds, the most significant input for shrimp production.

At present, the hatchery producers spread across the coastal region are importing brood-stock and availing the quarantine facility at MPEDA-Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture in Chennai. MPEDA-RGCA unit at Mangamarripeta near here gets specific pathogen-free post-larvae from Oceanic Institute, Hawaii and quarantine done in Chennai and rear for two months into brood-stock and supply to the hatchery operators.

The existing facility at Mangamarripeta is not able to meet the growing demand for vannamei brood-stock requirement of the hatcheries. The Bangarammapeta project will get technical support from MPEDA and RGCA.

Bright scope

According to Ram Sankar Naik, Commissioner of Fisheries, there is bright scope for further expansion of brackish water aquaculture in the State in a sustainable way as the government has identified fisheries as one of the important growth engines.

A.P. ranks No. 1 in the country in total fish and prawn production and produces over 70% of cultured shrimp in India. During 2016-17, out of total export earnings of ₹37,000 crore from India, the share of A.P. was about ₹17,000 crore.

Joint Director of Fisheries P. Sankara Rao said they had launched work on the twin projects on Monday and the projects would be completed in fast-track mode in an area of 30 acres allotted by the government.

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