Aqua farmers wanting to reduce the cost of production are giving less feed to the shrimps and, instead, feeding these with more drugs to ensure good growth and more money. (Representational image: DC File
Vijayawada: A rise in the use of spurious veterinary grade antibiotic drugs for shrimp culture is evident in parts of AP.
Aqua farmers wanting to reduce the cost of production are giving less feed to the shrimps and, instead, feeding these with more drugs to ensure good growth and more money.
Taking full advantage, seriously hurting the health of consumers, a section of the drug manufacturers are dumping antibiotics in huge quantities, in the guise of probiotics and other drugs that are spurious in nature and having no standard quality.
The Marine Products Export Development Authority has issued an advisory to keep a watch on the use of veterinary grade antibiotic drugs. Their indiscriminate use in culture of shrimps will mean the presence of their residues in the shrimps, and this would have an adverse impact on exports, the authority has said.
In Dr B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema district alone, the authorities imposed fines of Rs 25,000 each on 11 firms, registering these as a first-time offense, for the series of violations including use of antibiotics in the guise of probiotics, lack of proper labels on drugs, lack of presence of specific ingredients in the drugs etc.
The fisheries authorities say that the aqua farmers use probiotics for seed, feed and soil for the grown-up shrimps repeatedly.
The Dr BR Ambedkar Konaseema fisheries joint director Sheik Lal Mohammad said, "As per GO-2, only permitted types of antibiotics are to be used for culture of shrimps."
On the other hand, the drugs control administration seized Rs 23 lakh worth of veterinary grade antibiotics for a series of violations like stocking and selling without valid licence at two locations near Gudivada. The samples were sent for testing for quality to the drugs lab in the city.
So was the case at Chagallu falling under erstwhile West Godavari district where veterinary grade drugs worth Rs 7.60 lakh were seized. The samples were sent for lab tests and the reports are awaited.
There is a need to intensify inspections on manufacture, supply, stocking and sale of veterinary grade antibiotic drugs to avoid dumping of huge quantities of spurious drugs. These drugs may impact the aquaculture badly if corrective steps are not taken.
Fisheries joint director Sankara Rao (aquaculture) said, "We are keeping a check on the use of veterinary grade drugs in shrimp culture to avoid any adverse impact on production and export."
A shrimps tale
> AP takes up aquaculture in about two lakh hectares area across regions like erstwhile Godavari, Krishna etc
> India produces nearly 10 lakh metric tonnes of shrimps per annum; nearly 7.5 lakh MT get exported overseas
> AP produced nearly 6.84 lakh MT of shrimps last year
> AP exports shrimps to the US, South East Asian countries, European nations, Japan, China etc
> Many aqua farmers are using probiotics for good yield