Director's message

Dr. K.K. Vijayan

Present day Indian shrimp farming almost entirely depends on aquaculture of exotic white shrimp, Penaeus vannamei . Sole dependence on a single species cast doubt about the sustainability of Indian shrimp farming. In this context, ICAR-CIBA prioritizes research and development of indigenous Indian white shrimp, Penaeus indicus. As a significant step, pilot scale farming demonstrations were carried out all along the Indian coast with technologies and expertise of CIBA and evaluated the performance of the native white shrimp. These demonstration programs are supported by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad through the Department of Agriculture, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), New Delhi. The first stage of field demonstration results are highly promising, and stakeholders across the country from the coastal states of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat are convinced with the production performance of the Indian white shrimp. Farmers demand genetically improved indicus stock for the further development of farming of this species. Researchers of CIBA have mapped the stock structure of Indian white shrimp along the entire coast using modern molecular tools. This study provides the genetic structure and diversity of Indian white shrimp, P. indicus, and it will be a blueprint for further expansion of farming in the country and also a stepping stone for the proposed flagship program on the selective breeding of Indian white shrimp.

The success achieved, in our Kakdip Research Centre, West Bengal, in the farm rearing of the migratory Hilsa in the brackishwater pond up to the final reproductive maturation is promising and has given hope for farming of this culturally important species. As you are aware, functional hatchery feeds such as broodstock feeds and larval feeds are extremely important, and all our hatcheries depend on the expensively imported feeds. To optimize the economy of seed production, CIBA has developed indigenous functional larval and broodstock feeds as an import substitute, which is extremely critical for consistent production and supply of seeds required by expanding brackishwater aquaculture. We have developed functional larval feeds for shrimp and seabass, and broodstock feed for milkfish and pearlspot to sustain repeated spawning and high seed production.

Brackishwater aquaculture essentially has a rural base, and therefore, it has to play an important role as a provider of rural livelihood. In this direction, CIBA has strengthened its partnership with stakeholders ranging from farmers to export agencies, which are proving successful in taking the dynamic sector forward, registering an increase in the farm productivity and profitability.

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