The brackishwater aquaculture sector in India has evolved from a traditional backyard activity to a commercial farming activity.

08/03/2017 Industry

The brackishwater aquaculture sector in India has evolved from a traditional backyard activity to a commercial farming activity. Currently this sector is supported by two main species, the native tiger shrimp (P.monodon) and exotic Pacific white shrimp (P.vannamei). Peneaus vannamei offered greater advantage over the indigenous shrimp which lead to its dominance and is now holding 90 per cent share in shrimp cultivation.

Scientists from ICAR-Central institute of brackishwater aquaculture (CIBA), a premier research institute in the country, are exploring ways to increase farmer’s profitability by promoting species diversification. Research are conducted to assess the performance of the Indian white shrimp  P. indicus, which is native of India, in terms of growth, productivity, etc., in comparison with  P.vannamei. Successful farming trials of P.indicus have been conducted in 6 maritime states (Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat) under National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) funded project at CIBA Chennai to demonstrate and promote this indigenous species as an alternative species as envisaged under “Make in India” programme.

In the 1st phase, the shrimp production of upto 6.0 tons/ha per crop has been achieved in four months of culture. In order to exhibit the results of the demonstration and to disseminate the P.indicus culture technology to shrimp farmers and other stakeholders, a National Workshop on “Farming technology and propagation of indigenous Indian white shrimp for diversification of shrimp farming industry” was conducted at ICAR-CIBA, Chennai on 3rd August 2017. Totally 150 participants including several progressive entrepreneurs, officials from NFDB and Department of Fisheries, representatives from other ICAR institutes, consultants and others participated in the programme.

Addressing the large gathering of farmers V.P.THANDAPANI CHIEF GUEST, in his speech, emphasized popularization of indigenous fishes and shrimp species, and avoidance of dependence on foreign species. Dr.K.K.Vijayan, Director, ICAR-CIBA emphasized the urgent need to promote the farming of native indigenous species along with the exotic vannamei. He praised the entrepreneurial attitude of the participating farmers in the progress of aquaculture development in the state. Dr Akshaya Panigrahi, Principal Investigator of the project said that the performance of Indian white shrimp is comparable to the exotic SPF vannamei shrimp and holds a great potential as an alternate species of shrimp for coastal aquaculture in India.

Latter an MOU was signed between CIBA and the farmer groups and their representative from different states to promote P.indicus culture. A farmers-scientists interaction session was organized, where a few progressive farmers discussed about the pros and cons on P. indicus culture and expressed their willingness to take up the same.