Indian prawn farmers seek ban on imported white shrimp species

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
26 February 2007, at 12:00am

INDIA - The Prawn Farmers Federation of India, formed by over one lakh small scale farmers and their families, would approach Agriculture Ministry seeking a ban on P Vannamei, an exotic pacific white shrimp species, in India reports The Hindu.

"We are seeking a ban on P Vannamei since it would destroy the thriving black-tiger prawn culture. India is the leading producer of black-tiger prawns in the world," S V Bala, Interim Secretary of the Federation said here.

Allowing private hatchery operators to import P Vannamei brood stock is against the collective will and interest of over one lakh small-scale farmers, their families and over 1,000,000 direct and indirect employees, I P R Mohan Raju, its Interim-President said.

"The exotic species, which is grown in high and super-high density culture systems, is not suitable and not economically viable to the small scale farmers, who constitute more than 92 per cent of the farming community," he said.

S Santhanakrishnan, Interim-Coordinator said that P Vannamei was host to various known and unknown viruses, which have a high propensity to mutate.

The biggest threat to black tiger culture is a disease called Monodon Slow Growth Syndrome(MSGS), which is suspected to be caused by an as yet undetected pathogen hosted in P Vannamei, Bala said.

"A representation will be made to the ministry asking them to stop any proposals for introduction of any exotic farm species since we feel at the moment that adequate biosecurity protocols as well as proper controls for introduction and monitoring is not in place," he said.