Six New Mobile Labs to Help Fish Farmers Combat Disease

6 October 2015, at 1:00am

INDIA - The Andhra Pradesh fisheries department is introducing six mobile disease diagnosis laboratories as part of a major step towards ensuring disease-free aquaculture.

Even though Andhra Pradesh is the aquaculture hub of the country, lack of proper disease diagnosis laboratories has hampered the growth of aquaculture. So much so, 28 per cent of shrimp cultivation is lost due to diseases, reports TimesofIndia.

At present, there are eight laboratories in Nellore, Ongole, Nidubrol, Kaikaluru, Bhimavaram, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam.

Only five labs are functional (two fully and three partially). Fisheries commissioner Ram Shankar Naik told the newspaper that the government will operate three out of the six labs and the remaining would be handed over to private players.

Once these mobile labs are ready, they will visit the areas of aquaculture cultivation and address the problems of the farmers. These labs will monitor the prevailing diseases and educated growers on the steps to be taken to protect their farms.

There are 1.05 lakh aqua farmers in the state - 40,000 cultivate shrimp while the rest manage fish farms.

The total area of cultivation is 1.07 lakh hectares - 49,000 ha under shrimp and 58,000 ha under fish.

"The laboratories will be on a par with international standards," Mr Naik said. While the existing labs will be fully functional by next year, two more labs will be established at Eluru and Akiveedu.