Bangladesh approves vannamei seed import

More than five million pieces of vannamei shrimp seed will be imported to start commercial farming in the country.

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April 3, 2024

The Bangladeshi government has approved to importation of more than five million pieces of non-native vannamei shrimp seed, aiming to start commercial farming in the country, local news reported.

The company Green Bio Tech (BD) Corporation will import the shrimp seed called shrimp PL (10-12) from India. The permission has been given on condition that such seed will be used only for production of new seed.

In 2020, the Department of Fisheries (DoF) for the first time, permitted two pilot projects on vannamei shrimp farming. One project was run by Shushilan at the Saline Water Centre of the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) in the coastal Paikgachha upazila of Khulna. The project started in March 2021 and harvested its first batch of 13,896 kilograms of shrimp in July 2021. Following the success of the first pilot project, the DoF allowed 11 more firms, including M.U. Sea Foods Ltd, Grow tech Aquaculture ltd, and Fahim Seafood Ltd, cultivate the hybrid shrimp variety on a trial basis.

Frozen fish exporters have long been demanding that the government allow vannamei farming, as Bangladesh’s black tiger shrimp species has lost price competitiveness in key western markets, such as the United States and the European Union.

According to the frozen fish exporters, vannamei is a leading item on the global shrimp market because of its affordable price. More than 60 countries, including China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ecuador and Mexico, are producing vannamei, meeting about 80% of the global demand. However, Bangladeshi exports meet only 2% of the international demand for frozen shrimp, according to the Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation. The country once boasted about 100 frozen-fish factories and this sector ranked second among the export-oriented sectors even a decade ago.