A strong message to the shrimp industry We’re masking inefficiency with brute force

The growth of the Indian Aquaculture Sector, over the last couple of years, has been impelled by overcoming inefficiency with brute force; strategies such as increasing area under cultivation, increasing stocking densities and increasing the number of crops without giving importance to key issues such as broodstock quality, seed quality and farm management. Long term sustainable strategies such as the establishment of Selective Breeding Programmes and Nucleus Breeding Centres (NBC) require to be given more importance in India.

Speaking at Aqua India 2018, organized by the Society of Aquaculture Professionals, Dr. Robins P. McIntosh Jr., compared present India to Thailand of 2010. The country, one among the leading shrimp producing nations in the year 2009-10, had declared itself as sustainable aquaculture producer only to become the victim to the dreadful disease the Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) a couple of years later.

Delivering a talk on “The Rise of Shrimp Diseases; Both Old and New as the major factor affecting farm profitability and the increased cost of shrimp to the consumer”,

Dr. Robins emphasised that not continuing to develop in new areas, under the impression that we are improving, based on the steadily increasing aquaculture production was suicidal. Constant development is crucial for sustained production. He urged the hatcheries to maintain a zero tolerance standard to bad quality. Good Post Larvae does not require antibiotics and that there is no use of genetics without good seed quality.

Dr. Robins underscored the necessity for development of Shrimps tolerant to diseases; An SPF shrimp with WSSV tolerance. He cautioned that the next serious concern in the shrimp industry would be the shrimp price. Though GOAL 2017 survey predicted that diseases, seed quality and availability and access to disease free broodstock would be the top challenges for 2018, Dr. Robins opined that market could be the main challenge in 2018 as the world had witnessed a new world high in farmed shrimp production in 2017 and a continuing trend would make it a buyer’s market in 2018. The issue on Shrimp price is foreseen to replace the present widely discussed topic the ‘diseases’. He emphasized that the key factor for profitability is efficiency which can be achieved by better growth and survival with SPF/SPR and good management practices.

Shrimps possess an innate immune system that is modulated by environment, diet and genetics. Stress factors such as nitrites, carbon di-oxide, contaminants, sulphides, environmental fluctuations due to pond density, bad bottom, and climatic season and feeding; all act as factors that limit the immunity titters in shrimp.

The key concept for successful production therefore lies in adopting better management systems, efficient sludge removal (the removal of unconsumed feed and moults from pond quickly), maintaining optimum oxygen levels, stable pH, using better diets that optimize the immune system and genetic selection.


Source: Aquaculture Spectrum

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