Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) has received the licence to set up the first Litonpeneus vannamei hatchery to produce seeds of the exotic shrimp, in high demand for export. The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), Chennai, gave a go ahead for the hatchery project proposed to come up at the university’s Fisheries Research Station in Puduvype.
Even though vannamei farming is slowly picking up in the state, the difficulty in getting seeds is a real dampener for a prospective farmer. In the absence of a vannamei hatchery, the farmers depend on other states for seeds.
The KUFOS had proposed to convert the newly-built multi-hatchery complex in Puduvype Station into a vannamei hatchery and the CAA, the regulatory authority established by the Union government, gave a go ahead for the project the other day. In the initial stage, the KUFOS hatchery will function as the nauplius rearing centre with a capacity of producing two million seeds a year. In the first phase, the hatchery will provide seeds for the university farm and for the farmers associated with its vannamei extension programmes.
Welcoming the licence given by the CAA, KUFOS Vice-Chancellor B Madhusoodana Kurup said the hatchery would become a milestone in the history of shrimp farming in the state. “The farming of vannamei shrimp still has not become popular in the state mainly because farmers have to depend on other states for seeds. But the new hatchery will help popularise the vannamei culture in the state leading to boost the shrimp export rate,” he said.
The huge potential of available resources in the state especially the Pokkali fields are much suitable to the farming of the Litonpeneus vannamei, the KUFOS Vice Chancellor said. The pilot farming of the vannamei shrimp carried out by KUFOS last year was a big success. The university is all set to start the second phase of the vannamei farming next month, an official press release informed.
Scope of Vannamei
Vannamie shrimp is easier to culture in very high stocking densities of up to 150/sqm due to their less aggressive nature. It is tolerant to wide range of salinities of 0.5 to 45 ppt, and it requires low protein feed (20-35%). Vennamei is an easy to breed species and hence domestication of the species is very successful with the production of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) stock.
The farmers intending to culture SPF vannamei in the country have to obtain permission from CAA as per the guidelines issued by DAHD&F, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for this purpose.
Switching to Vannamei
KUFOS pilot farming produced Vannamei production from one hectare: 5.5 to 6 tonnes
Approximate profit: `14 lakh
Vannamei production at national level 2014-115
3,53,413 tonnes (50,000 tonnes in 2009)
41% increase in production when compared to previous year
The export of Vannamei grew 26.90% in 2014-15
2,22,176 tonnes (1,75,071 tonnes in 2013)
Earnings: USD 2372.80 Million
42.77 % of total Vannamei shrimp was exported to USA alone
Andhra Pradesh (60%)
Tamil Nadu, Gujarat