BAP Spotlight Story: Unibio (India) Hatcheries Private Limited

The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program’s “Spotlight Stories” highlight BAP-certified facilities around the world and the stories of the people behind them. This Spotlight Story features Dr. Sasikumar Ponnusamy, Quality Control & Certification, from Unibio (India) Hatcheries Private Limited, a black tiger shrimp producer in India that attained BAP certification for its hatchery. Unibio (India) Hatcheries is the first SPF P. Monodon hatchery in India to achieve BAP certification.

What inspired you to become involved in the seafood industry?

Being a biochemist with many years of post-doctoral research in medical microbiology at the University at Buffalo, New York, my entry into shrimp aquaculture was more of an accident. While transitioning from medical microbiology to aquaculture, I was fascinated by the technology developments already happening in the sector, and scope for further research using my previous experiences in medical research. In my position as Quality Assurance and Lab in-charge at Unibio (India) Hatcheries, I am conscious of ensuring supply of good quality post-larvae to the monodon shrimp farmers.

Tell us about your company.

Unibio (India) Hatcheries Private Limited is an associate company of Unima Group (Madagascar), producing SPF Black Tiger shrimp (P. monodon) post-larvae using broodstocks imported from Madagascar. During the last 3 years in operation, Unibio (India) positioned itself as the trusted supplier of SPF Black Tiger shrimp seeds throughout India.

Shrimp maturation section of Unibio (India) Hatchery

How is your company involved in the local community?

Unibio is located about an hour south of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India. The local community, especially women, are employed in packing of post-larvae at our hatchery, in preparation to deliver to the farmers. Preference is given to local vendors to supply groceries, meat and vegetables for running the kitchen for workers.

Take a tour of the Unibio Hatchery with The Center for Responsible Seafood!

Why did your company choose to become BAP certified?

Being the largest and most popular aquaculture certification scheme in India, BAP certification of our hatchery adds value to our farmers and processing plants by demonstrating responsible sourcing of the post larvae. It is also a reflection of our commitment to responsible and sustainable aquaculture. As we are certified for the first time, we are yet to know the impact in terms of business. But we are optimistic about improved business opportunities as more and more vannamei farmers are converting to black tiger shrimp farming.

Monodon post-larvae

Why do you love working in aquaculture?

I am enjoying my career transition from finding solutions for maladies of humans to feeding the world with a healthier seafood diet that also tastes good.

Anything else you want us to know?

Unibio (India) Hatcheries is the first Black Tiger Shrimp (P. monodon) hatchery in India to be BAP Certified for the entire scope of a shrimp hatchery, from maturing the broodstock to make them spawn and produce nauplii & post-larvae.