Major breakthrough in shrimp research at Andhra Pradesh

Marine product exports from the country is expected to get a big boost with a breakthrough ensuring the supply of high quality all male scampi (giant fresh water prawn) seeds.

In April this year, The Scampi Broodstock Development Project of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA at Konathanapadu, in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, successfully developed the first proven `neofemale' in the country thereby achieving production of all male progeny of the giant fresh water prawn (Scampi- Macrobrachium rosenbergii) for the first time in the subcontinent.

The technology developed at RGCA involves sex reversal of healthy Scampi males into functional females (called neofemales) through microsurgical interventions and crossing these females with normal males to produce all male progeny.

"This technology does not involve any kind of genetic manipulations or hormonal treatments. This has the potential of increasing the unit area production by around 40 per cent," an official release said.

This development would help solve the problem of differential growth (among males and females), which causes low survivals and poor yields - one of the major challenges faced by Scampi farmers in the country.

At present, the Scampi farmers are forced to painstakingly segregate males and females at the farm and grow only males that grow to larger sizes in quicker time when compared to the females. The technology now developed by RGCA could easily resolve this major challenge of differential growth faced by the Scampi farmers and provide the much-needed boost for Scampi farming in the country.