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Prawn farmers dont want introduction of exotic varieties

INDIA - Over 1 lakh small prawn farmers in the country are up in arms against the introduction of exotic varieties of prawns, especially the Pacific-based P Vannamei. Farmers fear foreign prawns will destroy native tiger prawns, which constitute 92% of the country's cultured prawns and 94% of export earnings.

Prawn farmers rallying together under the banner of the Prawn Farmers Federation of India (PFFI) will soon seek the intervention of the agriculture ministry to stop any proposal for the introduction of exotic prawns. The existing bio-security protocol is not adequate to control and monitor such imports, farmers feel. “In such a situation, repeated introduction of exotic species, especially P Vannamei, will be detrimental to existing black tiger prawn farmers in the country,” S Santhanakrishnan, interim co-ordinator of PFFI, said.

According to Bala SV, interim secretary of the federation, countries that introduced specific pathogen free P Vannamei prawns, are facing problems of new diseases since many non- specific pathogen free P Vannamei have also entered under the pretext of exotic introduction. PVannamei is host to various known and unknown viruses that have a high propensity to mutate. The effects of most of such viruses have not yet been fully understood," Bala said.

Source: The Financial Express

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