Foundation Stone Laid for Phase IV of MPEDA’s Aquatic Quarantine Facility

Expansion expected to boost Pacific White shrimp (L.vannamei) production by 3.5L metric tonnes

Chennai, June 13:  The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is poised to expand its Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF) for imported Pacific White Shrimp (L. vannamei) here in a move expected to increase shrimp farming production in the country by up to 3 to 3.5 lakh metric tonnes per annum and generate higher revenues from seafood exports.

Shri Tarun Shridhar, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Govt of India laid the foundation stone for the Phase IV of the AQF at Neelangarai in Chennai today (Wednesday, June 13).

The AQF, which has been set up by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre of Aquaculture (RGCA), the Research & Development arm of the MPEDA, will have six cubicles, three receiving areas and one packing area including one fumigation room, at the extended facility. The additional capacity will help to quarantine up to 1,23,750 brooders per annum.

L. vannamei, also known as Whiteleg Shrimp or King Prawn, is an exotic species widely in demand in US, Europe and other global markets. Its broodstocks are imported mainly from the USA and the AQF at Neelankarai was set up in 2009 to facilitate a regulated mode of introduction of this non native species into India.

Shri Tarun Shridhar said that the Ministry of Agriculture has given funds to the AQF as part of the “Blue Revolution” to prioritize and promote aquaculture in India. He said it will help farming of L.vannamei in other potential states, like Gujarat, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala.

He also assured that all necessary assistance will be given to MPEDA and RGCA to achieve substantial growth in the production and export of seafoods from India.

Dr. A. Jayathilak IAS, Chairman, MPEDA, and President, RGCA, said the AQF has successfully quarantined more than 11 Lakh L.vannamei broodstocks so far, and the additional capacity will significantly strengthen the industry and shrimp exports.

He noted that marine exports from India are expected to touch an all time high of more than 6 billion US dollars, with volumes reaching a record 1.27 million tonnes. Newer initiatives in aquaculture, such as the AQF expansion, will be key to achieving the target of 10 billion US dollars from marine exports by 2022, he added.

Dr K Gopal, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu, assured full state support to the AQF.


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