“Bringing back the glory to India’s oldest and first shrimp hatchery cum training centre by setting up of multi-species hatchery and Nursery for variety of aquaculture species for exports from west coast of India”
Kochi, June 21: The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is all set to launch its sprawling Multi-species Aquaculture Complex at Vallarpadam in Kochi, with an aim to revolutionize fish production in the country.
Spread over 8.5 acres, the facility will produce seeds/fingerlings of 6-7 commercially important species, which are of high export demand. The species includes Tiger shrimp, Asian Seabass, Pompano, Cobia, Genetically improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT), Mud crab etc.
MPEDA Chairman Dr. A. Jayathilak, IAS, said that the unique feature of the facility will be its Tiger shrimp hatchery with a production capacity of 20 million disease-free high health seeds per annum.
“This effort will revive the Black Tiger shrimp farming after a gap of two decades and will certainly bring about huge returns, as demand and price for good quality tiger shrimp is very high in the international markets, especially Japan and European Union,” he pointed out.
One of the major impediments while undertaking black tiger prawn farming is the lack of healthy, disease free seeds. Serving as a model, the facility at Kochi will pave way to establish similar facilities in other parts of the country. Black tiger shrimp is in demand as the best species for culture in the traditional farming systems of Kerala, named pokkali padashekarams, during the off season of paddy cultivation. Dr.Jayathilak said immediately the hatchery would produce disease free seeds of P.monodon by using SPF broodstock.
The hatchery is designed in an innovative model such a way that depending on demand, the facility can be utilized for the seed production of other freshwater/ marine fin fishes or shell fishes like seabass, cobia, pompano, grouper, scampi, GIFT etc. The entire biosecured hatchery has all the essential facilities such as reservoirs, water filtration unit, microalgae labs, artemia section, maturation section, larval rearing and post- larvae rearing units, and effluent treatment system. A quarantine unit to collect the disease-free wild broodstock will be established soon.
Another objective of this facility is to infuse diversity in Indian aquaculture through the production and supply of seeds / fingerlings of many commercially important species. It will also help the judicious exploitation of the vast marine, brackish and freshwater resources available in the country, especially in the western coastal states. Majority of the coastal waters in the west coast of the country and the back water resources available in states like Kerala and Goa are suitable for the cage culture of fishes. Moreover, the freshwater reservoirs are ideal to farm fast growing species like GIFT (Tilapia). The culture of GIFT in reservoirs will cater the increasing demand for fish in domestic market upto a considerable level. The scientifically designed intensive multispecies nursery in this complex has been established by MPEDA to utilize these untapped potential resources. Six HDPE lined ponds in the nursery section are suitable for nursery/ grow-out rearing of all the marine/freshwater fishes.
Above all, the proximity of this facility to the Cochin International Airport is also advantageous for the transportation of seeds to other parts of the country at a faster pace.
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