According to The Hindu, the shrimps, native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, have helped increase India's total seafood exports by five per cent in quantity and 12 per cent in profits. The country exported a record 91,000 tonnes of Vannamei shrimps (40,787 tonnes in the period between 2011 and 2012).
Frozen shrimps, including other varieties, constitute 50 per cent of the total value of total seafood exports, and India exported 189,000 tonnes of the produce, earning Rs. 80,000 million.
According to the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), seafood export figures for the last financial year are yet to be revealed. However, in the previous fiscal year, India exported 862,000 tonnes of seafood, valued at about US$3.5 billion.
One of India's leading seafood exporters said Vannamei is still relatively new to the country but despite its novelty, it has made a positive impact on the seafood business for farmers and exporters alike.
MPEDA sources said that farmers earned a mean income of Rs. 300 a kg of shrimp.
The Vannamei shrimp made a resounding entrance into the Indian seafood market with high productivity and export figures have been impressive since 2010-2011 when the country exported 12,407 tonnes.
Production of Vannamei variety of shrimps is rapidly rising and this is supported by a substantial increase in acreage. Figures from MPEDA put the total area under Vannamei farming at 22,715 hectares.
However, seafood exporters, many of whom are involved in aquaculture, estimate that there may at least be 50,000 hectares under farming.