The Union Commerce Minister, Suresh Prabhu, will inaugurate the multi-species aquaculture complex set up by the Marine Products Export Development Authority at Vallarpadam Island near Kochi on December 8.
The complex is set to pioneer a revolutionary leap in fish farming with the production of marine food from disease-free breeds. The Rs 7.26-crore project, set up in an area of 9 acres, is expected to cater to the demand from aquaculture farmers in Kerala as well as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
The facility features a hatchery for black tiger shrimp (with an annual production capacity of 20 million shrimp seeds) and nurseries for four varieties of fin fish, namely Seabass, GIFT (genetically-improved farmed tilapia), Silver Pompano, and Cobia (capacity to produce 16.5 lakh fingerlings per year) besides a nursery for 0.5 lakh crablets of Mudcrab.
The hatchery will have a quarantine facility and an effluent treatment system. The nurseries meant for diversified fish/shellfish species and ponds lined up with high density polythene are also provided with necessary bio-security protocols.
The facility’s proximity to the international airport is an added advantage, ensuring faster transportation of seeds. The Vallarpadom facility can become a model for the establishment of similar facilities in other parts of the west coast especially along the Konkan region and parts of Maharashtra, a statement issued here said.