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Infected Shrimp Seedlings Caused Recent White Spot Outbreak

15 January 2013, at 12:00am

INDIA - Fisheries experts have blamed the introduction of infected shrimp seedlings and the deteriorating environmental conditions as the cause of a recent outbreak of white spot disease on the outskirts of Kochi.

The death of shrimps and crabs has been reported from aquatic farms on the outskirts of the city, mainly affecting Vypeen, Kuzhipally, Edavanakad, Ezhikara, and the Nayarambalam areas.

K.K. Vijayan, Head of the Biotechnology Division of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, told TheHindu that the introduction of infected seedlings was the major reason for the recurrence of white spot disease.

Some prawn farmers from Kerala use seedlings which are rejected by aqua farms in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh because they are available at a cheap price.

While farmers in neighbouring States go for disease-free seedlings, which are selected through scientific screening, their counterparts in Kerala settle for cheap ones, thereby inviting infections, Dr Vijayan told the newspaper.

The aquatic system of Kerala is overloaded with pathogens. The farmers in neighbouring States also dont allow much water exchange in their farming system. They refill the system with sterile water as a safeguard against diseases.

However, M.S. Saju, Deputy Director, Fisheries, told the newspaper that the disease was reported from shrimp farms where farmers had introduced the seeds on their own.

Field reports stated that the disease was reported in shrimps of size up to 25cm indicating that they were introduced before the Fisheries department supplied the seeds. The department had supplied seeds for 550 hectares and the farming in these fields enjoyed insurance coverage, he said.

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