The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) is all set to launch its sprawling multi-species aquaculture complex at Vallarpadam near here, with an aim to revolutionise fish production in the country.
Spread over 8.5 acres, the facility will produce seeds/fingerlings of 6-7 commercially important species, which are of high export demand.
The species includes Tiger shrimp, Asian Seabass, Pompano, Cobia, Genetically improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT), Mud crab etc.
MPEDA Chairman, A Jayathilak said a unique feature of the facility will be its Tiger shrimp hatchery with a production capacity of 20 million disease-free high health seeds per annum.
"This effort will revive the Black Tiger shrimp farming after a gap of two decades and will certainly bring about huge returns, as demand and price for good quality tiger shrimp is very high in international markets, especially Japan and European Union," he said.
One of the major impediments while undertaking black tiger prawn farming is the lack of healthy, disease-free seeds.
Serving as a model, the facility at Kochi will pave way for establishing similar facilities in other parts of the country.
Black tiger shrimp is in demand as the best species for culture in the traditional farming systems of Kerala, named 'pokkali padashekarms', during the off season of paddy cultivation.
Jayathilak said the hatchery would immediately produce disease-free seeds of 'P monodon' by using SPF broodstock.
The hatchery is designed in an innovative model such a way that depending on demand, the facility can be utilised for the seed production of other freshwater/marine fin fish or shell fish like seabass, cobia, pompano, grouper, scampi, GIFT etc.
The entire bio-secured hatchery has all the essential facilities such as reservoirs, water filtration unit, microalgae labs, artemia section, maturation section, larvel rearing and post-larvae rearing units, and effluent treatment system.
A quarantine unit to collect the disease-free wild broodstock will be established soon.