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Abstract

Asian countries contribute nearly 90 per cent to global production of culture fisheries. Diversification of species is not happening in fish culture because of the high value shrimp commands in the export market. Shrimp farming is on the increase in all the major shrimp-producing Asian countries. Higher the growth in shrimp production, higher is the instability in production due to production risks associated with ecosystem complexities and disease incidences. Most of the shrimp-producing countries have been moving towards specialization of shrimp production for export because of the high price that the shrimp asserts in the international market. A comparison between the Asian countries for the period 1976-2002 has revealed that Malaysia has maintained low growth and low instability and higher diversification, and Bangladesh and Vietnam have diversified in fish exports. In a country-level comparison, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines have shown moderate growth in production and export of shrimp. The instability associated with their shrimp production has also been moderate. Diversification in fish production as well as exports has been suggested for assured income to farmers and the country. It has been pointed that replacing, supplementing or rotating the shrimp farming with culture of other high-value fish species like Asian sea bass (Lates calcarifer), grouper (Epinephelus spp), mullets (Mugil spp) and milk fish (Chanos spp) culture may ease the risks in mono-cropping of shrimp.

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