cubicles20 cubicles are established for quarantining at AQF. Photo: MPEDA

India’s Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF) has successfully quarantined 3,600 whiteleg shrimp broodstock imported from Hawaii by six shrimp hatchery operators in India.

The import of broodstock, which came as a single consignment from a single source, was facilitated by a chartered flight by the hatchery operators on 4 June. The broodstock were quarantined for five days and handed over to the hatchery operators with 97.12% of survival on 8 June.  AQF is operated by Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquatics (RGCA), the R&D arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

Shri K S Srinivas, chairman of MPEDA, said all the broodstock were confirmed their SPF (sun protection factor) status by screening of OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) and non-OIE- listed pathogens.

Although the broodstock arrived at the airport 10 hours later than the scheduled time, the strict bio-security protocol followed in the AQF ensured their successful quarantining and secured the high survival percentage.

Srinivas said the remarkable feat would play an important role in sustaining the shrimp farming sector in the country.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the facility was opened “for the hatchery operators in May and meticulous planning was done to accommodate maximum hatcheries and import maximum broodstock to ensure that the hatcheries get adequate brooders to produce seeds,” Srinivas said.

AQF has so far quarantined more than 15 lakhs of whiteleg shrimp broodstock imported by shrimp hatchery operators in India.

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