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Freshwater prawn farming in India: Status, prospects

ABSTRACT Freshwater prawn farming in India developed in 1999 due to a sudden surge in demand in response to the de-cline in marine shrimp production caused by White Spot Syndrome Virus and the Supreme Court judgment on coastal regulation zones (CRZ). Freshwater aquaculture has not been included under the recently enacted CRZ Act and is largely free of the licensing requirements from the Aquaculture Authority of India that are other-wise obligatory for marine shrimp farming. Farming of the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachi-um rosenbergii or scampi in Indian trade, the most impor-tant species, has evolved from a traditional activity in the coastal provinces to a modern enterprise. About 60 other species support sizeable capture fisheries in different parts of the country, but their suitability for culture is un-known. Average annual productivity from farming activi-ties is 1.05 mt/ha – higher than the typical 0.92 mt/ha for marine shrimp farming, despite the lower total area under freshwater prawn culture.

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    ABSTRACT: Freshwater prawn production in India that includes farming and wild capture of the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and the monsoon river prawn, M. malcolmsonii has increased steadily since 1999 reaching a peak output of 42 780 t in 2005, but then declined to 6568 t in 2009–2010. Stunted growth and diseases in ponds because of poor seed quality and the broodstock which had been inbred over several generations; pond water quality issues; and increased cost of production on account of feed, labour and the mandatory certification requirements are suggested to be some of the factors leading to the production declines. While majority of the output occurs in Andhra Pradesh, single crop paddy–prawn production systems in the low-lying fields of Kerala have helped gradual transformation to a sustainable, organic mode of farming of both rice and prawns, suitable for other states of India. Although the trends by June 2011 indicate that the sector is set to a revival, future prospects of freshwater prawn farming in India will also depend on the expansion of whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei that was introduced recently in India and provided a more profitable opportunity for farming.
    Aquaculture Research 07/2012; 43(7). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2109.2011.03074.x · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    Coastal Fishery Resources of India-Conservation and Sustainable utilisation, Edited by B. Meenakumari, M.R. Boopendranath, Leela Edwin, T.V. Sankar, Nikita Gopal & George Ninan, 03/2010: chapter Simultaneous rice – fish culture system in modified Pokkali rice fields – a possible alternative to improve sustainability: pages 59-66; Society of Fisheries Technologists (India), Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, India.

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