CHENNAI: Minister of State for Fisheries, Fishermen’s Welfare and Animal Husbandry, Anitha R Radhakrishnan, on Friday launched a variety of hatchery-bred ornamental prawns to be marketed by Chennai-based VGP Marine Kingdom.
The National Bureau of Fisheries Genetic Resources (NBFGR) has developed the technology for rearing Thor Hainanensis, a species of marine shrimp, in a captive environment in a hatchery.
NBFGR marine scientists found the variety of shrimp in Lakshadweep in 2019, then formed the local women’s self-help group to raise them in the hatchery and later signed a memorandum of understanding with VGP marine kingdom, which operates an aquarium park, for the commercialization of the variety of ornamental shrimp.
Speaking on this occasion, the minister highlighted the measures taken by his government for the development of the fishing sector and state fishermen.
“The ministry is committed to the development of the fisheries sector,” the minister said. He also liked the decision to market the ornamental shrimp variety.
Based on the MoU, the Marine Park will directly purchase the captive-bred prawns from the beneficiaries, display in their souvenir shop attached to the Chennai Oceanarium, and market them.
Kuldeep Kumar Lal, Director of NBFGR, said this is the first successful breeding of the Thor Hainanensis shrimp variety in captivity and the MoU will help improve the economic conditions of women fishers in Lakshadweep and also prevent overexploitation of native ornamental shrimp. of nature.
“The technology we have developed in ornamental shrimp farming will help in the conservation of native species. Ornamental shrimp are in high demand in the international market for aquarium decoration purposes and in fact, a pair of shrimp costs nearly $17 to $20,” Lal says.
“A similar market can easily be developed in India as well,” he added.
VGP Group Chairman VG Santhosam and Group Managing Director Ravidas said they will work together for the popularity of ornamental shrimp varieties.