Initial Problems of shrimp aquaculture in India

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<ul><li><p>7/31/2019 Initial Problems of shrimp aquaculture in India</p><p> 1/3</p><p>1</p><p>Problems faced by Indian aquaculture units in early 1990s</p><p>Shrimp aquaculture operations had started on the East Coast of India,</p><p>around 1990. The variety cultivated was mostly Black Tiger, which was</p><p>the variety in demand in international markets.The activity was so</p><p>profitable that large areas of paddy (rice) fields were converted to salt</p><p>water shrimp aquaculture. The production from the farms was raw</p><p>material for a (mostly) thriving industry exporting frozen shrimp to USA,</p><p>Japan and Europe.</p><p>In 1994, an unidentified viral disease started attacking the shrimp farms</p><p>in North lndia and many parts of Andhra Pradesh, which is the leading</p><p>state in India for Aquaculture Development. The disease was called white</p><p>spot disease and resulted in sudden mortality of the shrimps, resulting in</p><p>heavy financial loss. The farmers were not in a position to control the viral</p><p>attack due to lack of experience and non-availability of expert advice. The</p><p>farms had also been developed haphazardly, without thought being given</p><p>to good practices or for the sustainability of the industry. The disease</p><p>spread very fast to the rest of the aqua farms in the country and the entire</p><p>country was affected in two months from first sighting the problem.</p><p>MPEDA, the nodal agency for development of Aquaculture in the country,</p><p>also was not in a position to advise the farmers correctly and counter the</p><p>viral attack. As part of the attempts to contain the disease, MPEDA</p><p>declared a crop holiday for six months from March 1995. Farmers were</p><p>advised to keep the farm dry and exposed to sunlight.</p><p>Due to the Crop holiday declared by MPEDA, the farms did not go for a</p><p>crop till October 1995.</p><p>Meanwhile, aquaculture experts were invited from abroad to find a</p><p>solution or the problem. Experts from Thailand. Taiwan and Indonesia</p><p>were brought to India for studying the situation. The experts visited the</p><p>farms in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu and suggested application of</p><p>vitamins, probiotics and irnmunostimulants to increase the immunity of the</p><p>animals in order to fight the viral attack. They also suggested certain</p><p>1206 v1</p></li><li><p>7/31/2019 Initial Problems of shrimp aquaculture in India</p><p> 2/3</p><p>2</p><p>changes in the design of the farm. These medicines and modifications</p><p>were very costly and increased the expenditure of farming by ten to fifteen</p><p>percent. Some farmers, as per the expert advise further invested in the</p><p>farm for changing the water intake system to a semi closed one by</p><p>building a large reservoir to store and disinfect the water before filling the</p><p>ponds. After the modification the farmers went for a new crop in October</p><p>-November 1995. Even after the modifications and the importing of</p><p>immunostimulants and other expensive medicines the second crop was</p><p>destroyed by viral attack.</p><p>Meanwhile, public interest litigations had been filed against salt water</p><p>aquaculture, alleging that it polluted the coastal aquifers. The High Court</p><p>of Madras, in October 1996, ordered the closure of all Aqua Farms in</p><p>Tamil Nadu with immediate effect and asked the District Government</p><p>authorities to file compliance with in a weeks time. The order was kept in</p><p>suspense by the same bench since the Supreme Court of India was</p><p>hearing a similar case. The Supreme Court came out with its verdict,</p><p>which ordered the demolition of all farms within the Coastal Regulation</p><p>Zone before March 31, 1997. It further ordered the companies to pay</p><p>compensation to the workers at the rate of six years salary computed on</p><p>the basis of the salary last drawn by the employees.</p><p>The farms could not continue the aquaculture activity due to the Supreme</p><p>Court ban. Since then the farms were lying idle without creating any</p><p>income for the farmers. The farms being on the seashore, the rate of</p><p>corrosion is very high for the machinery like pumps, generator sets,</p><p>aerators, and pipes etc.</p><p>The workers in the farms who were in different unions, demanded</p><p>compensation as per the Supreme Court order and started agitating. They</p><p>turned violent and resorted to destruction of the properties of the farms.</p><p>The problems faced by the farms are summarised hereunder.</p></li><li><p>7/31/2019 Initial Problems of shrimp aquaculture in India</p><p> 3/3</p><p>3</p><p>a. Virus disease affecting the aquaculture farms all along the East Coast.</p><p>b. Order of the Supreme Court to ban aquaculture in Coastal Regulation</p><p>Zone.</p><p>c. Labour problems at the farms.</p><p>Coastal Aquaculture in India has revived after establishment of a</p><p>statutory body, Coastal Aquaculture Authority of India, who regulate</p><p>aquaculture and have enabled it to revive, in a healthy manner.</p></li></ul>