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Indian Prawn Project Ends in Pollution

by the Fish Site Editor
19 May 2009, at 1:00am

INDIA - It was a project that could have doubled the yield of freshwater prawns in Gujarat. But 10 years on, the freshwater prawn seed hatchery in Umarwada stands abandoned due to the presence of heavy pollutants in the form of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in water bodies in Bharuch, say officials in the Fisheries Department.

They maintain that dumping of chemicals from Ankleshwar and Panoli areas has proved harmful for the hatchery, which was supposed to spawn 40 million larvae of pure freshwater prawn, writes Anupam Chakravartty of Express India.

“When the project started in 2007-end in Umarwada, the pond water was contaminated by very high levels of TDS, which is harmful for larvae growth,” said C N Khatri, Assistant Director, Fisheries. Echoing Khatri’s opinion, E M Victor, the marketing manager of Gujarat Fishing Central Cooperative Association (GFCCA), said that prawn breeding proved to be a biological disaster, as most of the larvae perished in a short span of time resulting in the closure of the project. “We are now looking at other prospects to start the project and are looking at joint ventures with foreign companies,” added Victor.

Ankleshwar reportedly has the highest TDS level in the state, which is above 1,500.

According to GFCCA, the project funding was done under an Indo-French Protocol signed in 1996. Thereafter, work began at Umarwada in 1997 with an aim to provide pure and freshwater prawn seeds to fish farmers in a bid to reduce the pressure on natural sources of prawn seed available in the Narmada and Tapi.

the Fish Site Editor