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Multi-species aquaculture complex in Kochi to open on Saturday

Kochi: The multi-species aquaculture complex, developed by Marine Products Export Development Authority ( MPEDA) at Vallarpadam, will go on stream on December 8.

Spread over 9 acres, the Rs 7.26-crore project is expected to cater to the demand from the aquaculture farmers in Kerala as well as the adjoining states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. It will be inaugurated by union commerce minister Suresh Prabhu.

The complex features a hatchery for black tiger shrimp (with an annual production capacity of 20 million shrimp seeds) and nurseries for four varieties of fin fishes, namely, seabass, genetically-improved farmed tilapia (GIFT), silver pompano, Cobia (capacity to produce 16.5 lakh fingerlings per year) besides a nursery for 0.5 lakh crablets of mud crab.

The multispecies complex with a hatchery and nurseries for marine, brackish water and freshwater fish species in Vallapardom is a first of its kind in India. The fishes reared in the complex have both domestic and export market.

The hatchery for black tiger shrimp will have a quarantine facility and an effluent treatment system as a typically biosecure hatchery facility would need. The nurseries meant for diversified fish/shellfish species and ponds lined with high density polythene and also provided with necessary biosecurity protocols.

The facility’s proximity to the international airport is an added advantage, ensuring faster transportation of seeds, according to a statement by MPEDA.