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Weekly Overview: Indian Shrimp Crop Holiday Causes Controversy

Crustaceans Health Biosecurity +3 more

ANALYSIS - In this week's news, a recent announcement from the Indian Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has ordered a halt to shrimp farming operations from now until the end of February as a preventative measure for Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

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The MPEDA apparently found traces of EMS on shrimp farms, however, the Coastal Aquaculture Authority commented that no such disease had been found in the country, said L. Satyanarayana, President of All-India Shrimp Hatcheries Association, speaking to The Hindu.

He also stated that the MPEDA has no authority to declare the presence of the disease or to declare a crop holiday.

Justifying the MPEDA's decision, Chairperson Leena Nair stated that the crop holiday is part of the action plan and the MPEDA Act and will stop farmers from adding in an intermittent third crop during the dry-out period..

“MPEDA, constituted by an Act of Parliament, has the authority to do everything to protect exports/augment raw materials of exports and surveillance/protection to ensure healthy crop. MPEDA is part of the surveillance mechanism of the Government of India,” she told The Hindu.

Ms Nair also commented that she could not confirm or deny EMS findings and noted that the Department of Animal Husbandry will have the final call.

The MPEDA action plan also involves inspections and sampling of hatcheries, farms, peeling sheds and documentation.

Hatcheries which source broodstock (L. vannamei) from unapproved origin will also be closed and infected farms will have infected material removed and water disinfected.

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