Agri Business

New technique for easy collection of ‘Karimeen' fish eggs

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2017

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) scientists have developed a unique method for collection of the eggs laid by Pearlspot, also known as the “state fish of Kerala”, which is much more efficient than the earlier method employed.

Pearlspot ( Etroplus suratensis) also known as ‘Karimeen' in Kerala, is an excellent table fish, fetching a good market price up to Rs 350 a kg.

“The fish has very complicated method of breeding and nesting. They bury their eggs in the bottom mud of the ponds, hence, the survival of juveniles is very less, which has been a major concern for fish farmers,” said Mr M. Natrajan, Project in-charge at the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai, an institute of the ICAR.

“We can obtain 1,200 juveniles from a pair of parent fishes. However, in traditional techniques, it is hardly 200 juveniles,” added Mr Natrajan.

Pearlspot can be reared in ponds and cages in both freshwater and salt water environments. It is a hardy fish, easy to propagate and culture on a large scale, depending upon the capacity of the entrepreneur and farmer.

Pearlspot can be farmed in homestead ponds in the backyard of houses, enabling poverty alleviation as well as high-value fish production in States such as Kerala.

The Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai, has developed an innovative technology for easy propagation of the fish by breeding them under controlled conditions.

Captive breeding

At its Muttukadu Field Centre, CIBA has successfully developed a captive broodstock of Pearlspot fish in cages, drawing from a diverse genetic pool (from Pulicat and Muttukadu, in Tamil Nadu, and Kumarakam, in Kerala) to establish a simple and effective facility for consistent egg production by this fish species.

Under the ‘Matsya Keralam' scheme, the State Government is promoting farming of brackishwater fish on a large scale and due to this, the demand for quality Pearlspot fish juveniles has increased.

The CIBA, Chennai, has been approached by the Kerala Government to extend its know-how and expertise with regard to this technology to promote Pearlspot fish production in the State.

Efforts are also being made to promote Pearlspot fish culture in derelict inland saline wetlands of Karnataka.

Published on September 26, 2011

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