Figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US NOAA) showed that India’s exports of frozen prawns to the US has grown 16.5% to 203,699 tonnes between January and October 2018 from 174,843 tonnes in the same period of the previous year. The figures also indicated that India may top in the export of prawns to the US in the year 2018.
Thailand, which had been holding the position as the largest prawn exporter to the US till 2012, was hit by early mortality syndrome (EMS), an untimely death of prawns due to toxins produced by a unique strain of bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus, an action triggered by a virus. Thailand’s exports to the US were 38,405 tonnes in January-October 2018, down from 60,229 tonnes in the similar period of the previous year.
China’s prawn exports were 39,982 tonnes, compared to 38,126 tonnes in January-October 2017. Ecuador exported 65,228 tonnes and Indonesia 109,279 tonnes. The exports from Vietnam rose to 47,228 tonnes from 45,997 tonnes a year ago.
India topped prawn exports as Vannamei - an exotic white prawn variety from the Pacific - was thrived in the aquaculture farms of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Pondicherry and Andhra Pradesh. The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) introduced Vannamei in India in 2009.