KOCHI: The city is gearing up to set up the first aquatic animal hospital in the government sector. An Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Management Laboratory will come up on the premises of the Fishermen Training Centre at Thevara under the Agency for Development of Aquaculture, Kerala (ADAK). The state government has accorded sanction for `1.12 cr for it. The total amount for the project is `1.68cr, the rest of the amount will be provided by National Fisheries Development Board. The construction work will be carried out by Ernakulam Nirmithi Kendra which is expected to begin soon.
“The centre is envisaged as a virtual research and support centre for fish farmers and as a ‘Hospital for Fish’ to address various diseases cropping up in fish species, which are being reported seasonally from various parts of the country. The hospital will be able to regularly monitor the occurrence of diseases and evolve effective strategies for health management for aqua culturists. The lab will also play an important role in quarantine and disease-free certification of ornamental fish,” sources said.
The laboratory will act as a support component for all hatcheries and farms both in the government and private sector to test the quality of fish seed.
Experts pointed out that since the significance of aquaculture is rapidly increasing in the state, the establishment of such a laboratory is relevant. It is estimated that around 400 aquaculture farmers across the state will be benefited from the facility.
The laboratory will function as a monitoring and surveillance centre for diseases affecting fishes and aquatic organisms, including shrimps, fresh water prawn and farming fishes. The centre will be able to test the pollution levels of water. It will maintain registers pertaining to the details of farmers, samples given for testing, tests undertaken and results. These can be used for further aquaculture research, sources said.
The testing fees at the laboratory will be fixed at a commercial rate. The assistance from National Fisheries Development Board will be given in two installments.
It is expected that the prospective of shrimps and fresh water prawn can be fully exploited by culturing disease-free species and boosting the export market. The laboratory will also have facilities for seed quality testing, soil and water quality and feed testing.