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Bangladesh Shrimp Exports Under Threat

by 5m Editor
11 May 2009, at 1:00am

BANGLADESH - The shrimp export industry is now under threat from substandard lobster fry smuggled into the country, and the cultivators, according to recent media reports, have expressed their worries with the prospect.

Bangladesh has the fame for two varieties of giant prawn, the freshwater lobster and the saltwater prawn, which constitute nearly 90 per cent of frozen food exports - the second biggest foreign exchange earner after readymade garments, repoprts TheNewNation. Nearly 30 per cent of shrimp exports are lobster and the rest prawn. As reported, huge quantities of prawn fries are entering Bangladesh through the southwestern Satkhira border.

According to the news organisation, a section of traders sell them as 'Golda fry' termed to have been caught from local rivers. In fact, the fry are not caught locally, but smuggled in from neighbouring India. According to the Golda Hatchery Association of Bangladesh, the shrimp farmers who have spent huge money on hatcheries for fry are facing crisis because many of them are supplied with smuggled Indian fry at much cheaper prices than local varieties.

The government-approved hatcheries produce around 120 crore giant freshwater prawns a year against the demand for 120 to 150 crore. The smuggled fry do not grow big, 30-40 of the Indian variety shrimps make one kilogram, but four of the local adult lobsters weigh the same. The Indian fry grown in hatcheries in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, are sent to Bangladesh after 10/12 days.

5m Editor