After nearly a decade, black tiger shrimps stage comeback in Kerala

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Updated: June 18, 2019 1:06:06 AM

Ending a decade’s slide in the production of black tiger shrimps, Kerala is experiencing a fruitful comeback of the high-health seafood, thanks to a much-needed initiative launched by MPEDA earlier this year, chairman KS Srinivass said.

black tiger shrimp, Kerala, shrimp, shrimp price, tiger shrimp, industry newsAfter nearly a decade, black tiger shrimps stage comeback in Kerala (Representative Image)

State-run Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) on Monday said production of black tiger shrimps was expected to pick up with higher-than-expected sales of shrimp seeds from its multi-species aquaculture complex (MAC) at Vallarpadam. Ending a decade’s slide in the production of black tiger shrimps, Kerala is experiencing a fruitful comeback of the high-health seafood, thanks to a much-needed initiative launched by MPEDA earlier this year, chairman KS Srinivass said. black tiger shrimp, Kerala, shrimp, shrimp price, tiger shrimp, industry news

The Kochi-headquartered MPEDA had begun supplying black tiger shrimp seeds from its new multi-species aquaculture complex (MAC) at Vallarpadam from February 18. Srinivas noted that the black tiger prawns supplied from the nine-acre MAC had been showing “excellent” performance in various parts of the state. “We knew that increased production of the black tiger variety can boost India’s shrimp exports in the long run. We are seeing the early signs of it happening,” he added. “Recently, I visited some of the aquaculture farms to understand the field performance of the seeds from our facility. Our seeds are doing very well. Farmers’ comments are encouraging.”

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Former Kerala director-general of police Hormis Tharakan, a progressive shrimp farmer, seconded Srinivas’s views, saying the seeds showed very good performance during the three months of culture period. “They gained an average weight of 38 gm, thanks to the quality. I got 260 kg of shrimp in the 90 days from an area of 50 cent by stocking 10,000 seeds. Currently, we are rearing another 90,000 seeds,” he revealed. “This is in happy contrast to my facing a continuous crop loss for the last three years.”

The `7.26-crore MAC, inaugurated on December 8 last year, features a hatchery with an annual production capacity of 20 million black tiger shrimp seeds, besides nurseries for four varieties of finfishes. It was from 2010 that black tiger shrimps, an endemic species to south-east Asia, began to face a slump in its traditional reputation as a major variety of cultivated shrimp item in India. That was after aquaculture farmers began to focus on growing the exotic vannamei species of shrimps.

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