It is now being reported that the news claiming Sri Lanka has imported a type of disease-ridden prawn called Vannamei a complete lie cooked up by businessmen.
A news that had appeared on the Sinhalese daily, Mawbima claimed one disease human can contract from the species can be dangerous as HIV AIDS.
However, on investigation, it has been revealed that the news has been spread by a group of businessman in the fisheries trade by the name of Sri Lanka Aquaculture Development Alliance who are against the Vannamei breeding project.
While business ploys aimed at revenue alone are common however it should be noted that even businesses should be more cautious when spreading news which may have serious negatively affect the economy and public. However social media page admins too do not heed this and shoot themselves in the foot such as in this incident
Ploy by Businessman
Firstly the objection to importing prawns as raised by business association engaged in the businessman. An individual claiming to be its President pretending to have medical expertise claimed that the prawns were ridden with diseases while going on to claim that laws have been thwarted to import the stock.
He has also said that the prawns are not being bred in Sri Lanka currently due to six unidentified diseases associated with them. According to him, the Prawn industry in the country is facing a serious issue which they then went on to file a complaint with the Police.
Despite having to respect him as a businessman however he along with media organisations for spreading misinformation among the public.
Currently, Monodon species of prawns are used in Sri Lanka while the importation of Vannamei has been decided due to more harvest and low cost.
Therefore India too has turned to farming Vannamei prawns. These prawns are also bred in Thailand, Vietnam and amounts around 70 percent of the prawns grown there. These are possibly the positive reasons which upset the business associations.
Everything was done legally!
While this is only a pilot project it was to be put in place under the guidance of the Ministry of FIsheries but was handed over to a private company due to difficulties in raising capital for the project. The company too are not taking part in the project to create a monopoly in the business but to gain more harvest through less cost by increasing the number of prawns bred.
Their aim is to use the harvest to increase the export revenue USD 2 Million. However, the association of businessman are said to have created the fear mongering to hamper the efforts.
While the import has been done legally while it has been certified by the Hawai Biological Research Institute.
Meanwhile the prawns after being imported, its samples have been sent to Peradeniya, as well as the laboratory of the Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka in Baththuluwa. The project is set to take place in an area not connected to other aquatic systems.
In case if it is revealed that the stock is ridden with diseases then the Aquaculture Development Authority and the Private company have agreed to destroy the batch.
What must be noted is that those spreading these rumours themselves in 2015 requested approval to import this type of prawns only going on to prove their real intention behind spreading misinformation regarding the project.