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Prawn Farming Project Launched in Kilinochchi

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SRI LANKA - The National Aquaculture Development Authority of the Ministry of Fisheries has launched a large scale brackish water prawn farming project in the Kilinochchi District.

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This natural prawn farming project has been launched in the Chundikulam reservoir by the Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda by releasing 25 million post larvae obtained from different breeding centres in the island into the reservoir. The reservoir extends over 32,500 acres and holds a massive volume of brackish water.

The Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri has allocated Rs 15 million to start the project.

Fourteen co-operatives have been established with a membership of about 1,500 to manage the project. NAQDA officials informed that a fully grown prawn will weigh about 100 gms and harvest could be obtained in a period of 3.5 months. They said that unlike fresh water prawns, these brackish water prawns do not need special food or supplying of oxygen as they solely feed on micro organisms found in the water.

NAQDA officials also said that there is a huge demand for these prawns in foreign countries and a kilogram fetches about Rs 500. At harvest time, a fisherman could easily catch about 100 kilograms of prawns per day thus contributing for the enhancement of their income.