The Hindu , 16 May 2006

Now, eco-friendly shrimp production by FCRI

TUTOCORIN: The Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI) here has commenced commercial production of shrimps using an eco-friendly `Raceway Technology' developed by it recently, at the newly-established Raceway Farm Complex (RFC) on its premises.

Speaking to The Hindu , S Felix, Associate Professor, Fisheries Biotechnology Centre of the institute, said the new technology, which was not in practice anywhere else in the country at the moment, helped produce `disease-free' shrimps and overcame problems such as huge consumption of water, unlike in the traditional `water exchange system' used for shrimp production.

"While 40,000 litres of water is needed for the production of one kilogram of shrimps in the traditional method, only 2,500 litres of water is used in the new system for production of identical quantity of shrimps," he added.

Moreover, stocking density was high in this method vis--vis the traditional method. Dr. Felix said stocking density using raceway technique stood at 2,000 shrimps per sq. m. against 10 shrimps per sq. m. using the old method.

The green house structure, blowers and the state-of-the-art raceway tanks constructed at the RFC were helpful in maintaining the water circulation in the tanks that prevented accumulation of dirt at the bottom of the tank. "Dirt accumulation could lead to the production of hydrogen sulphide, which increases mortality rate," he said.

Cess to shrimp farmers

Dr. Felix said on seeing the success of the new technology, the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, had announced a subsidy to the tune of 60-75 percent of the investment cost to the shrimp farmers who wanted to set up RFCs on their own.