With No one to Grant Licences, Shrimp Farmers in Legal Limbo

CHENNAI: A majority of shrimp farms in Tamil Nadu are running illegally as the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), which is facing a staff crunch, is unable to issue licences to regulate the farms. Of the seven members on board the CAA, only the assistant director and technical assistant are in place, an official told Express on condition of anonymity. The situation was slightly better till early last year when there were three officials. Then, the director’s post also fell vacant. “The State Fisheries Board approves licences for farms and sends them to CAA. But CAA hasn’t been able to issue the licences to the farmers,” the source added. This is affecting shrimp farmers who have started the shrimp farms without licences. According to the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA) Act, 2005, the offence attracts a fine of `1 lakh or imprisonment of three years or both. It is believed that about 60 per cent of shrimp farms in the State are unregistered. “It’s been two years since I have applied for a licence to get my farm registered, and I’m still waiting,” says Rajendran of Pattukottai, showing documents to prove his charge. “When I went to the CAA for the third time, I was told that my application was lost. Then I reapplied but the wait has not ended.” “I don’t have a licence but I’m given the seeds by the hatcheries, which don’t insist on the farm having a licence. The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) also supports me with supplements. After I’m done farming, the produce is taken for export and I get my income. But after...

New tech gives a boost to shrimp farming in Punjab & Haryana

Shrimp and prawn farming in Punjab and Haryana may get an impetus with the new technology developed by the Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), Mumbai. Prawn farming is restricted to coastal areas but the new technology allows use of the saline wastelands in Punjab and Haryana, where productivity is poor, for the farming. Started in 2008 by CIFE at its Rohtak centre (Haryana), the experimental trials on tiger shrimps or prawns were continued until 2012 to study the feasibility and financial viability of the technology. Buoyed by the response, the technology was passed on to farmers in Haryana. Farmers have now started commercial prawn farming, spread over 20 acres this year. The technology was developed by W S Lakra, vice-chancellor, CIFE (Mumbai), and V Harikrishna, scientist, CIFE (Rohtak), and their team. Speaking to Business Standard, Harikrishna said, “There is big demand for prawns in domestic and export markets. Currently, prawn farming is restricted to coastal areas as water is saline. As the nature of habitat in which shrimp is naturally found and commercially grown -coastal soil & seawater – is entirely different from inland conditions, the present innovation focuses on changing the chemical composition of inland water by designing specific and correct ionic concentration to make it suitable for growth, survival and commercial farming of shrimps. This has immense relevance in southwest Punjab, including the districts of Ferozpur, Faridkot, Muktsar, Bathinda.” Farming of tiger shrimps or prawns is lucrative as these have high export demand. It will also provide an opportunity to ensure there is nutritious fresh seafood in the northern parts. The threat developed due to salinity...

Indian Shrimp Farmers Embrace Rice

Global shrimp prices have skyrocketed, up 70 percent last year, with demand soaring. India’s shrimp production is putting money in farmers’ pockets but it also has large-scale environmental consequences, polluting drinking water and destroying coastal habitats. In the Indian state of Kerela, a group of locals is trying to bring back traditional farming practices to help save the land....