KOCHI: In a boost to farming of exotic shrimp 'vannamei', the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) here has obtained licence for setting up the first hatchery in the state for producing seeds of the white-leg shrimp.
"With the establishment of the hatchery in the state, vannamei shrimp farming will be more popular among the farmers in Kerala," KUFOS Vice Chancellor B Madhusoodana Kurup said.
Vannamei shrimp farming had not become popular in Kerala mainly because farmers had to depend on other states for the seeds. But the new hatchery in KUFOS would help to popularise the vannamei culture, leading to boost the shrimp export rate from Kerala, he added.
Chennai-based Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) issued the licence for setting up the hatchery at the university's Fisheries Research Station in Puduvypeen near here, he said in a KUFOS release today.
The hatchery would start functioning, at the initial stage, as the Nauplius Rearing Centre which has a capacity of producing two million seeds a year.
In the first phase, the hatchery will be used for the University's purposes and that of the aqua farmers associated with it in the farming of Litonpeneus vannamei, the release said.
The pilot farming of the vannamei shrimp carried out by KUFOS earlier was a huge success. It had proved that 5.5 to 6 tonnes vannamie could be produced from one hectare, resulting in an approximate profit of Rs 14 lakhs.
The CAA issued the license to KUFOS on varsity's request to convert the newly-built multi-hatchery complex in Puduveypeen Station into a vannamei hatchery, Dr Kurup said.
KUFOS would start the second phase of the vannamei farming next month, he said. There was significant increase in production of vennamei shrimp in the country during the past five years from just 50,000 tonnes in 2009 to more than three lakh tonnes in 2014. More than 60 per cent of the production comes from Andhra Pradesh, followed by Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Maharashtra etc.
The huge potentials of available resources in the State especially the Pokkali fields are very much suitable to the farming of the Litonpeneus vannamei, said Kurup