Nearly 500 hatcheries in Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat had to drain seed ponds in the past ten days as farmers and others involved in shrimp cultivation have not come to work because of the fear of contracting the coronavirus, according to local news. The lockdown has also hurt transportation.
PLs are grown in a cycle of 21 days. The ones of the March cycle have already been drained because they were not transferred to grow-out ponds. Laxmidhar Pradhan, an official at Falcon Marine Exports in Odisha’s Balasore, said the company had planned to process about 150 tons of prawn a day three months ago. The quantity has had to be reduced to 25 tons a day as around 70% of the workforce has not been turning up.
India produces 70,000 tons of shrimp per year, 42% of which is exported to the U.S. Industry. Stakeholders now fear a dip in export because of the magnitude of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and the European countries.