High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)-lined shrimp ponds dot the panorama of Mahendrapalli, a small village on the banks of Pazhayar about 18 km from Kollidam. Here, Suryakumar Boriah, is silently working on an eco-friendly, disease resistant shrimp farming referred to as biofloc on his huge farm.
What Is Biofloc In Shrimp Farming?
Biofloc is a helpful bacterial colony-based culture that keeps different bacterial diseases at bay, making it an ecologically sustainable symbiotic system. Biofloc shrimp farming differs from traditional plankton-primarily based shrimp tradition that always retains farmers on tenterhooks because of the risk of illness outbreak. Owning the only one-of-its-type farm within the State, Mr.Suryakumar is likely one of the only a few farmers in the country practising biofloc since 2011.
The zero-water exchange of biofloc makes it eco-friendly. “pH and nitrogen ranges in water are the biggest concern in shrimp culture,” says Mr.Suryakumar. The bioflocs keep the pH levels steady and feed on the nitrogen produced by the shrimps. “In conventional farming, nitrogen is flushed out by means of water alternate every 25-30 days to keep animals stress-free and illness-free. The bioflocs use up the nitrogen and convert it into proteins, for the shrimps,” says Mr. Suryakumar. This cuts down artificial probiotics for the animals. Traditionally, water alternate is usually a contention between native land users and shrimp farms.
“The tightly HDP-lined ponds insulate the animals from diseases,” says Govindaraj, manager of Suryakumar’s farm. It costs about Rs.14 lakh per hectare for a biofloc pond, thrice as a lot as a conventional pond. But the capital funding is out-weighed by the benefits of the system. “There is no dry-out season, and the ponds are crop ready anytime. The HDP linings are intact for 5 years,” says Mr. Govindaraj. Biofloc cuts down on fish meal as shrimp feed. Based on Mr.Suryakumar, the eventual objective is to carry down meals conversion ratio to 800 gm of fishmeal to supply 1 kg of shrimp (FCR 0.8:1).
Production per unit area is high in biofloc system. Production per hectare in a traditional pond is 10-15 tonnes, whereas a biofloc pond provides out 20-30 tonnes. The stocking density of animals in HDP-lined biofloc pond is twice the density of an strange shrimp pond.
Mr. Suryakumar had picked up the system from Yoram Avnimelech, the man recognized to have founded the know-how in Tilapea fish tradition. Currently heading the International Working Group on Biofloc Technology, Professor Yoram has referred to Mr. Suryakumar’s improvements in biofloc shrimp tradition in his publication.
However, constraints to adopting biofloc stay. This system requires continuous provide of oxygen via aerators, wants capital subsidy from Marine Products Exports Development Authority and demo-farms for publicity and institutional assist for farmers, says Mr. Suryakumar.
Besides, Coastal Aquaculture Authority’s regulation on maximum stocking density of ponds, and basic excise restrictions on use of molasses for carbon supply must be revised for licensed farmers, says Mr.Suryakumar. Based on Kandan, Assistant Director, MPEDA, it is a reversal to conventional information. Traditionally moss was allowed to develop in ponds as fish feed. Biofloc attracts from the same method. Just as the shrimp sector in the nation finds itself on the brink of potential EMS (early mortality syndrome) outbreak, biofloc shrimp ponds ring in a ray of hope; provided there’s institutional support for farmers.