October 26, 2004



More White-Sea Shrimps to be Imported into Thailand


Thailand plans to import more ''white sea prawns'' to help solve the shortage of the species necessary for breeding, according to government officials.


This variety of prawn has become very popular among Thai shrimp farmers.


More Thai farmers have started raising the white-sea shrimps, or Penaeus vannamei, because it has proven to be very popular among local consumers, stated the Director-General of the Department of Fisheries, Sitdhi Boonyaratpalin.


Local prawn farmers need more than 200,000-250,000 pairs of breeders every year, but the government can only provide a fraction of that, he said.


The government has decided to allow more breeding stock to be imported.


Nine farms will be permitted to buy 35,000 pairs a year to meet the farmers' needs.


''So far, these farms have imported nearly 6,000 pairs of breeders this year - substantially less than the farmers' demand. We have also provided some shrimps from the government's breeding project,'' he said.


The Centre of Coastal Marine Research and Development and other government agencies also plan to import more breeders and raise healthy baby prawns for the local farmers to cultivate.


The centre intends to develop breeding farms of a very high standard, Mr. Sitdhi said.


The government is searching for more overseas prawn farms which could supply the breeders.


''We have found at least four shrimp farms abroad - in the United States and Hawaii - which could provide them,'' he said.

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