The farmed shrimps meant for export to EU are subject to Pre Harvest Testing (PHT) in the ELISA Laboratories set up by MPEDA. The raw material is screened for the presence of banned antibiotic residues such as Nitrofurans and Chloramphenicol. MPEDA has set up 12 ELISA Laboratories for this Pre Harvest Testing certification programme in the farming clusters of coastal states right from Gujarat to West Bengal. 

Responding to the demands from the aqua farmers of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, MPEDA has opened its 13th ELISA Laboratory at Pattukottai today, 5th July 2021.  The laboratory is expected to cater to the antibiotic testing needs of aqua farmers in Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukkudi and Kanyakumari districts. 

The lab was formally inaugurated by Shri K.S. Srinivas IAS, Chairman, MPEDA in a virtual function organized from MPEDA Head Quarters in Kochi.  The function was attended by Dr. M. Karthikeyan, Director, MPEDA, Shri K.S. Pradeep IFS, Secretary, MPEDA, Dr. Ram Mohan M.K., Joint Director (QC), MPEDA, Shri K V Viswa Mohanan, Vice Chairman MPEDA &   President of SEAI Tamil Nadu region,Shri V. Balasubramanian,   General Secretary- Prawn Farmers     Federation of India & Secretary – Tamil Nadu Coastal Aqua farmers Federation and Shri Sethuraman, Vice President- Tamil Nadu Coastal Aqua   Farmers Federation (Pattukottai region), besides other dignitaries. 

In his inaugural address, Chairman reiterated that the farmers shall restrain from using any banned antibiotics in the shrimp culture system. He also emphasized the need to contain the detection of antibiotic residues in farmed shrimp consignments in markets such as EU, USA and Japan for enhancing our market share. He stressed that Indian seafood can take up a larger market share, if the quality is ensured. He urged the farmers to utilize the laboratory services at its maximum so that they will get a better sales value by ensuring the quality and traceability of the produce. He has informed that the Pre Harvest testing process is completely made through online platform so that the farmer need not visit the lab to get the test done. The ELISA Lab at Pattukottai has samplers to collect samples for testing based on the online request placed by the farmer.  Chairman, MPEDA also reminded the farmers and other stakeholders to remain vigilant about Covid -19 infections and requested them to follow the prescribed protocols to prevent the pathogen and nucleic material contaminating the value chain.