Defence tactics

FOR hundreds of shrimp farmers facing unemployment and starvation due to the outbreak of a deadly shrimp disease, there is still some hope. According to experts of the Marine Products Exports Development Authority in Andhra Pradesh, a two-pronged strategy used by the fish-farmers of Thailand and Ecuador to revive shrimp culture has shown promising results in India too.

The strategy involved stocking of 'healthy seed' or shrimp larva which was produced by 120-odd hatcheries in the state using a technology developed by Patrick Sorgeloos, an authority on the subject. His technology was used to produce the favourite feed of the shrimp larvae, hermaphrodite artemia. When dissolved in salt pans for 24 hours, the arternia turns into a fast moving microorganism attracting the shrimp larvae. Highly proteinous substances like the poly unsaturated fatty acid and highly unsaturated fatty acids are fed to the arternia before they are made into dried cysts. This brine shrimp cyst, when mixed with salt water in the ponds and fed to the shrimp larvae, makes them strong and immune to viral attacks.