Registering above 1.25 lakh metric tonnes of brackish water shrimp production in 2017 (January-November), Krishna district became the largest shrimp producing district in the country.
In the financial year 2016-17, the turnover of the shrimp exceeded ₹3,300 crore by producing 1.02 lakh metric tonnes in the district, despite rejection of the shrimp by the European Union countries on the grounds of indiscriminate use of antibiotics. “Blessed with suitable saline and soil conditions, the Krishna district continues to become the largest shrimp producing district compared to any other district in the coastal States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat,” Fisheries Department Commissioner Rama Sankar Naik told The Hindu.
Mr. Rama Sankar also attributes the stunning production in brackish water aquaculture to the enterprising skills of the farmers. According to Krishna District Fisheries Department’s statistics, of the total shrimp production in the district, tiger prawn variety share was barely 5 to 10% and the rest of the production was ‘Vannamei and Scylla serrata varieties. Brackish water aquaculture spreads in more than 21,000 hectare across the coastal belt in the Krishna district.
In recent years, aqua farmers have focussed on cultivation of wild crab (Scylla serrata), a brackishwater species that has a great demand in Asian countries. “Timely support from the State government such as regularisation of ponds and subsidised electricity facility are a key factors which encourage the farmers to register a whopping shrimp production,” added Mr. Rama Sankar.
The shrimp cultivation is flourishing surrounding the areas of mangrove cover, wetlands and Krishna estuary. “An estimated 4,000 farmers are engaged in brackish water aquaculture in the Diviseema region (Koduru, Nagayalanka and Avanigadda mandals) in Krishna district. An exclusive aquaculture centre has been set up in Nagayalanka, giving a fillip to the brackish water aquaculture,” said District Collector Lakshmikantam.
On the other hand, the Central Institute of Brackish water Aquaculture, Chennai, has succeeded in crab fattening technology, enabling the farmers to reap more profits in wild crab cultivation.
The production of marine shrimp was recorded barely 13,590 metric tonnes in Krishna since January 2017.