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First vannamei shrimp hatchery opened in Kerala

Kochi: In a major boost to Kerala’s shrimp farming sector, the state’s first ever vannamei shrimp hatchery was opened at Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) here today.

The hatchery of Litonpeneus vannamei, an exotic shrimp which is in high demand in foreign countries, was set up at the Fisheries Station of KUFOS located in Puduveypu after obtaining the license from the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), Chennai.

State Fisheries Minister K Babu, who inaugurated it, said that hatchery was a milestone in the history of the shrimp farming in the state. It will help boost the economy of the state, he said.

“It will help boost the export industry of shrimps from the state, resulting in a remarkable increase in income of shrimp farmers. This will revive the economy of the state,” Babu noted.

Presently, vannamie farming in the state is witnessing a slow growth rate due to difficulty in acquiring seeds of the species. The farmers have to depend on other states for the seeds.

The Minister also said the Fisheries Department would popularise the farming model of the white-leg exotic shrimp developed by the varsity in all the shrimp farms in the state.

The hatchery will start functioning, at the initial stage, as the Nauplius Rearing centre which has a capacity of producing two million seeds a year.

In the first phase, the hatchery will be used for the University’s purposes and that of the farmers associated with the varsity.

The second phase of the vannamie farming carried out by KUFOS at its Fisheries station was also launched on the occasion

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India, Lanka to hold meeting on fishermen issue in May

New Delhi, March 3 : External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said that she held consultations with the top Sri Lankan leadership to resolve the issue of fishermen from Tamil Nadu.

Intervening during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, she said a meeting of ministers dealing with fisheries of both countries is being convened in May to evolve a mechanism to resolve the lingering issue.

“The government will enforce installation of GPS on fishing boats to steer it clear of maritime boundaries of Gujarat,’ she added.

Earlier., the fishermen in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry withdrew their strike demanding the immediate release of fellow fishermen lodged in Sri Lankan jails.

The fishermen are urging the government to secure the release of twenty seven Indian fishermen still languishing in Lankan jails after they were arrested by the Lankan Navy.

The fishermen also want the government to take steps to secure the release of 71 fishing boats detained by Sri Lanka.

Olive Ridley turtles hit Odisha coast for nesting

Rajnagar, Feb 29:  With the nesting season around the corner, endangered Olive Ridley turtles have hit the shore at Odisha’s Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary near Kendrapara.

olive ridley turtle eggs

Though the numbers are few, it is expected to rise sharply over the next few months.

According to official sources, thousands of Olive Ridley turtles have thronged the beaches along the Bay of Bengal at Babubali, Agarnashi-I, Nasi-II, Habalikhati, Barunei, Satabhaya and Pentha.

Even though the mass nesting of the turtles have not begun, about 20 nests were sighted at Babubali and Agarnashi-I, forest department sources said.

During the egg laying season, hoards of female sea turtles crawl ashore at night, dig about 1.5 ft deep flask-shaped nests in the beach and lay 100-120 eggs on an average in each clutch and then bury the eggs under the sand dunes. Hatchlings emerge around 45-60 days after the mother turtle lays the eggs.

The state government and the forest department take special precautionary measure including a seven-month long fishing ban from November 1 to May 31 in the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary to ensure that the nesting season passes off without high mortality rate.

The restriction has been imposed as per Odisha Marine Fishing Act (OMFA). Trawlers and fishermen have been directed not to fish within 20 km from coastline in the turtle nesting sites. Use of motor boats and mechanised trawlers for fishing within 5 km from the coast is prohibited.

Notably, the state government has imposed fishing restriction on 120 km stretch from Dhamra coast to Devi river mouth.

Chhattisgarh to survey water bodies in state for fish farming

Raipur: Chhattisgarh government will undertake a survey using remote sensing satellite technology for mapping the location of ponds, rivers and other water bodies to encourage fish farming in the state.

“The state has sufficient number of ponds, water bodies and rivers to produce fish of any variety. Therefore, the government is carrying out remote sensing survey to identify location of these water bodies to use them for fish rearing,” a government official said here on Wednesday.

The survey will initially be carried out in eight districts, following which digital maps of water bodies will be prepared at village and block-level.

All details relating to fish rearing will be computerised and made online. A web application will also be created on the entire database, he added.

The production of fish in the state is increasing at a rapid pace, the official said, adding, “2.51 lakh metric tonnes of fish production has been registered till December 2015 in the last fiscal, which was 1.20 lakh metric tonnes in 2004-05. Over 25 lakh metric tonnes of fish of different variety has been produced in the state in the past 12 years.”

The state government has become self-sufficient in production of fish seeds. About 25 crore fish seeds were produced in 2001-02, which has gone up to 135 crore fish seeds in the year 2015-16, he added.

“The government has taken several steps to boost fish production, which has ensured employment to two lakh fishermen. Banks are providing loan worth Rs one lakh at one per cent interest rate to farmers to boost fish production,” the official said.

Foundation stone of Rs 1.6cr aquatic lab laid in Kerala

Kochi: The foundation stone of the first aquatic animal health management and environment management laboratory at Thevara was laid on Sunday.

Addressing the audience, minister K Babu said that he hoped the fish production in the state would touch 1.5 tonnes in the next three years. “The Matsya Samrudhi project, which began three years back to usher in blue revolution in the state, has taken the total fish production to 1.2 tonnes. Now, we need to ensure that the seeds and fish feed are of high quality and the lab, set up spending Rs 1.68 crore, will meet the requirements,” the minister said.

The minister said that the state would attain self-sufficiency in the near future. “The government has already set up hatcheries in Bhoothathankettu, Kallada, Thevally, Odayam, Neyyar Dam and Thenmala. The quality of the seed from these hatcheries will be tested and certified here,” the minister said. The lab will be set up renovating the building of Fishermen Training Centre at Thevara. It will receive the financial support of National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and have microbiology, histopathology and PCR sections attached to it

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