Pilot project of producing Vannamei Shrimp or King Prawn in Khulna is showing chances for the fish to emerge as an alternative to Bagda Shrimp or Tiger Prawn.
Once produced successfully, the fish has the potential to increase the presence of the country’s potential shrimp industry in the global arena.
Vannamei Shrimp has been experimentally harvested for the second time in six ponds of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) in Khulna’s Paikgasa upazila following the approval from Fisheries Department under the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry.
The project was proved successful during the harvesting programme on Friday.
According to project sources, 72 percent of the world’s shrimp market is occupied by Vannamei Shrimp. As production of this fish isn’t widespread in Bangladesh, the country has to compete for 28 percent of market share through exporting Freshwater Prawn (Golda Shrimp) and Tiger Prawn.
Besides, the prices of Vannamei Shrimp are much lower than Freshwater and Tiger Prawns. As a result, Bangladeshi Shrimp traders have to incur losses due to exporting costly Golda and Bagda Shrimps at the rate of Vannamei Shrimp.
Through semi-intensive process, around 1,500 kilograms of Golda and Bagda Shrimps can be produced in an acre of area, while the production capacity is at least 5,000kg for Vannamei Shirmp within the same space. If commercial production of Vannamei Shrimp gains pace in Bangladesh, Shrimp production will increase fivefold in the next five years.
The Vannamei Shrimp harvesting programme was inaugurated by Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury, Secretary of the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry. Kh Mahbubul Haque, Director General of the Fisheries Department, Yahia Mahmud, Director General of BFRI, and Momotaz Begum, Paikgasa Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), among others, were present at the programme.