October 9, 2015


Disease caused by rainfall lack hits Indian shrimp farms


Inadequate rainfall has led to the spread of a non-viral disease that has adversely affected the output of vannamei (whiteleg) shrimps in Vietnam.


S Muthukaruppan, president of the Society of Aquaculture Professionals in Chennai, said the "prevalence" of microsporidian EHP in shrimp farms has resulted in stunted growth of vannamei shrimps. "The survival rate among shrimps is also low. We expect 10%-20% fall in production", he added.


The reduced harvests of vannamei shrimps, which account for 67% of India's seafood exports, may contribute to a decrease in India's total marine products export.


The disease has afflicted farms in Andhra Pradesh state, which produces almost 70% of exportable vannamei shrimps. Earlier this year, white spot disease also hit farms in Andhra Pradesh.


Insufficient rains


Muthukaruppan said insufficient rains could have affected the flushing or flowing of water in the farms, adding that the disease could be eased with proper water management.


Early this year Thai and Vietnamese shrimp traders turned to India for their supplies of cheap raw shrimps as both countries were grappling with the early mortality syndrome (MES) disease that continued to hit their shrimp farms.


However, Indian shrimp farmers have slowed down on their stocking because of the high cost of feed, besides the spreading disease. Thus, the cost of production at around Rs270 (US$4.16) per kilogramme was even higher than the prices for 40- to 50-count per kg shrimps.


"In the last few months, the prices they (farmers) were getting were low compared to last year. Of late, the prices have started moving up. But it is doubtful whether there will be enough quantity to cash in on it," All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association president L Satyanarain said, according to The Economic Times of India.-Rick Alberto

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