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Shrimp productivity fell in Indian shrimp hatcheries in 2020 due to the pandemic

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Society of Aquaculture Professionals (SAP) recently concluded a review of shrimp farming in India in 2020. In a series of virtual meetings held among industry stakeholders from January 29-30, 2021, the unanimous opinion was that farmed shrimp production declined from record production of nearly 800,000 tons in 2019 to about 650,000 tons in 2020, a 19% drop. Earlier forecasts in meetings organized by SAP in 2020 were nearly 30%, so the actual decline was less than what was predicted. 

The white paper also highlighted that while the coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown contributed to the decline, continuing production challenges due to disease problems impacted the production quite significantly. “Action by the stakeholders and the government is needed to address the challenges for the sustainable growth of the sector in the future,” the report says.

Ravi Kumar Yellanki, managing director of one of the largest shrimp larval producers in India, Vaisakhi Bio-marine Pvt. Ltd. & Vaisakhi Bio-resources Pvt. Ltd, said that more than 500 shrimp hatcheries in India produced 70 billion PLs in 2020 despite the lockdown causing disruptions in the import of broodstock and vital supplies such as worms. About 70 large hatcheries belonging to one of twenty firms in the business accounted for about 57% of the total production, indicating the degree of consolidation happening in a presently fragmented market. 

The sector imported 252,000 broodstock in 2020 despite the lockdown stopping imports in April and May, the peak production periods for the hatcheries. Broodstock supplies were dominated by Shrimp Improvement Systems (150,000 broodstock) and Kona Bay (90,000 broodstock). 

Due to the reduced shrimp production in 2020, shrimp productivity fell from 11.18 tons/million PL production in 2019 to 9.28 in 2020. The continuing drop in this productivity index is a cause of concern for the Indian industry. In 2021, Ravi Kumar Yellanki expects the hatchery sector to produce about the same quantity of PLs as in 2020, PL prices to be stable but remain low, and performance will depend on the newly introduced disease tolerant and balanced lines.

Download Review on Farmed Shrimp Production in India in 2020 here.

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