The induction of shinorine (mycosporine-like amino acid (MAA)) in Anabaena variabilis PCC 7937 was studied in various culture media (BGA−, BGA+, BG11 and Allen and Arnon's). The objective was to select the most appropriate medium that can support the highest induction of MAAs and can be used for industrial production of these UV protective substances from cyanobacteria. Also, in vivo photosynthetic activity was measured under shinorine inducing conditions in all media. The shinorine content and photosynthetic activity (yield) were highest (2948.73 ± 61.13 nmol/g dry wt and 0.47 ± 0.01, respectively) in BG11 medium in comparison to others after 72 h of UV radiation. After the same duration of irradiation shinorine content was 1076.08 ± 21.77, 1320.07 ± 98.19 and 554.64 ± 16.47 nmol/g dry wt in BGA−, BGA+, and Allen and Arnon's media, respectively. Thus, BG11 medium can be used for mass production of MAAs from cyanobacteria.