Bhimavaram: With the exporting countries rejected many container loads of prawns citing presence of exceeding limits of pesticides (antibiotics), prawn farmers in West Godavari district are worrying about their future. 

About 70 per cent of prawns exported to European countries, Japan and USA are from AP. As a result, the recent rejection of prawn containers is sounding death knell to the aqua industry. West Godavari district ranks first with lion’s share of prawns exported to other countries.

In order to save economy influenced by aqua culture, the state government has immediately swung into action to identify the reason for anti-biotic residues in the exported prawns. 

Moreover, the exporting countries such as the USA have set a condition that they would only import prawns procured from farmers who possessed identity issued by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) from January 2019. 

The announcement was followed by year-long testing of exported prawns for presence of antibiotic residues that causes cancer.

Under this backdrop, the officials of fisheries department have been collecting soil samples of prawn ponds to find out the culprit. 

The government had assigned the task of satellite survey to MPEDA to know the extent of land under prawn cultivation. Every farmer was issued with a smart card. 

The details of smart cards helped the government to identify the crisis for prawn culture. 

It would be easy task for the state government to identify farmers who committed the crime of using antibiotics that were banned.

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