Andaman's smart shrimp a 'bone of contention'

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
27 April 2007, at 1:00am

INDIA - The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is all set to produce next generation smart shrimps or Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) shrimps in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

''We wanted a highly bio-secure area for our project for which we had requested the Ministry of Commerce and Industries as well as the territory's administration to declare the islands as bio-secure zone,'' MPEDA chairman G Mohan Kumar told UNI.

Mr Kumar said there has been no significant growth in the production of Tiger shrimp (Peneaus monodon) in the country since past few years, while attributing the reason to White Spot Virus (WSV) disease outbreak in 1995.

MPEDA, in its study, had earlier found that Tiger shrimp in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 100 per cent WSV disease free. The infection rate in Andhra Pradesh is 91 per cent.

In India quality of brood stock has deteriorated, Mr Mohan said.

The remote archipelago, despite its isolated geographic location, has achieved a unique status in the culture of Pathogen-free wild shrimps.

The MPEDA is demanding total ban in shrimp culture in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as this could infect the wild shrimps of these islands, for farmers may bring infected seeds from mainland.