KOCHI:The first-ever trial farming of Vannamei (Litopenaeus Vannamei) or white legged shrimp, an exotic fish variety having a high export value, in the ponds of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) has yielded good harvest, paving the way for introduction of the breed for cultivation among aqua farmers in the State.
Impressed by a yield of 650 kg of Vannamei after 94 days of culture in a 1,000-sqmtr pond, Fisheries Minister K Babu, who inaugurated the harvest, said the success of the trial farming would usher in a ‘vannamei revolution’ in the State.
“The positive results of the trial farming will be a game-changer for shrimp farmers in the State.
“The new model of vannamei farming, developed by the KUFOS to suit brackish water ecosystems like ‘pokkali’ field, will be extended to the other parts of the State. The Fisheries Department will use the two-acre farm at Poyya in Thrissur for vannamei culture,” said Babu.
“The trial culture of vannamei was conducted in four ponds at the regional station of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies at Puthuveypu in March this year, with the aim of developing a model vannamei culture suitable for the brackish water ecosystem.
The trial proved that 5.5-6 tonne of vannamei could be produced from one hectare, resulting in an approximate profit of Rs 14 lakh,” a press release from the KUFOS stated.
Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies Vice-chancellor Dr B Madhusoodana Kurup said the university would extend farming to more ponds with varying densities. We also plan to develop diversified farming practices for vannamei,” he said.
T N Prathapan MLA; Director of Fisheries Mini Antony; Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies Pro-vice-chancellor Dr K Padmakumar; KUFOS GC member Anwar Hashim; registrar Dr V M Victor George; scientists; experts and students from various fisheries institutions in the state were also present at the function.
■ Easier to culture in very high stocking densities of up to 150/sqm
■ Tolerant to a wide range of salinities of 0.5 to 45 ppt
■ Requires low protein feed (20-35%)
■ Domestication is easy with the production of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) stock ■ Higher meat yield (66-68%)
■ Temperature in Kerala is suitable