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A short training programme on “Field level diagnosis, prevention and control of diseases of shrimp and finfish in brackishwater aquaculture” conducted on 19th and 20th January 2017 for the Export Inspection Agency (EIA) officials was conducted by the Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Division (AAHED) of ICAR- Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai. Nine officers of EIA from EIA centres located at Mumbai, Veraval, Chennai, Nellore, Vishakhapatnam, Kochi and Kolkata participated in the training programme. This was a need-based programme organised for the officials of EIA as a required by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Canada.

Topics dealing with important diseases of both shellfish and finfish were covered in this programme. The participants were enriched with knowledge for field level presumptive visual identification of important diseases of shrimp and finfish reared in the brackishwater aquaculture sector. The trainees were given an overview of diseases in brackishwater aquaculture including OIE listed diseases and those prevailing and emerging in the brackishwater aquaculture in India. Issues with regard to visual diagnosis of diseases were highlighted and need for level-2 and level-3 diagnostics was stressed for accurate diagnosis of diseases of aquatic animals. Participants were also exposed to the research effort of ICAR-CIBA and the existing world-class facilities pertaining to disease diagnosis. A Field guide for diagnosis, prevention and control of diseases of shrimp and finfish in brackishwater aquaculture was provided to the trainees. The officers were taken to shrimp farms located near Chennai and were given exposure on the methods of sampling at farm visual examination, collection of specific samples and tissues, fixation, preservation and transport of live and preserved samples for disease investigation.

Earlier during the inauguration of the programme on 19th January 2017, Dr K.K.Vijayan, Director, ICAR-CIBA stressed on the importance of this training programme considering the quality of shrimp and finfish we require to produce if India has to sustain its overseas markets. There has been an increasing demand from the importing countries with regard to quality especially with regard to the food safety including antibiotic residues in seafood. Quality of seafood was also important for domestic consumption, which was often neglected. He highlighted the capacity of CIBA which had world-class laboratory facilities and expertise in aquatic and environmental health management and looked forward to stakeholder collaboration in both Govt and private sector for the promotion of the Indian brackishwater aquaculture products in India and overseas.