L Vannamei variety shrimp affected by White gut virus
L Vannamei variety shrimp affected by White gut virus

 Nellore: Aqua farmers in the district are incurring huge losses with white gut virus affecting the L Vannamei variety. There has been sudden fall in the shrimp production. Aqua farmers are now getting only 35-40 count against the expected 100 count due to the virus, therefore, incurring a loss of Rs 300 per count. 

Highlights:

  • Farmers were getting low count with the White gut virus attacking L Vannamei variety   
  • Vannamei is being cultivated in around 8,600 hectares in the authorised ponds and 6,500 hectares in unauthorised ponds in the district
In fact, aqua culture is being taken up in around 9,500 hectares in the district and around 6,700 farmers have been cultivating in fresh and brackish waters. L Vannamei cultivation has been a major crop and due to lack of proper testing facilities in and around Nellore and seed suppliers were deceiving the farmers. 

The crop is mainly cultivated in Kota, Vakadu, Muthukur, T P Gudur, Chitamur, Chillakkuru, Manubolu, Venkatachalam, Indukurpet, Kovur, Kodavalur and Vidavalur in Nellore division. Fake seed of shrimp is easily prone to the virus, experts say.

Because of the virus, growth of the shrimp would be shunted. The virus attacks the shrimp at early stages of within sixty days and the shrimp automatically stops taking feed.According to officials, L Vannamei variety is being cultivated in around 8,600 hectares in the authorised ponds and 6,500 hectares in unauthorised ponds in the district. A senior official from the Fisheries department said White gut virus attacks the shrimp due to poor hygienic conditions in the pond and also water quality. 

Farmers have to maintain good sanitation at the bottom of the pond on a regular basis monitoring the pH level. He also added that they were advising the farmers to purchase Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) seed from the registered hatcheries with the Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA). Generally, a healthy shrimp weighs around 40 to 45 grams when getting ready for harvesting.

If the shrimp is attacked by the White gut it normally loses it weight to 5 grams as against the required 8-9 grams. The shrimp dies if no effective control measures are taken by the farmer. As a result of reduction in weight, farmers were getting inadequate count thus loosing expected revenue from the crop. Now, 40 count shrimp is at Rs 410 per kg, Rs 320 for 60 count and Rs 280 for 100 count.

By P V Prasad