Agri Business

Aquaculture institute seeks Kerala govt support to boost pearl spot production

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on August 12, 2020

The Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture wants to promote Karimeen, Kerala’s state fish

Voicing concern over the below-par performance of pearl spot (karimeen) farming in Kerala, the Chennai-headquartered Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) has sought the support of the State government to boost the aquaculture production of Kerala’s state fish.

It is high time the State had a road map for the successful utilisation of highly prospective brackishwater resources towards the betterment of pearl spot farming practices in Kerala, said KK Vijayan, Director of CIBA.

“Even as the fish has a huge demand and market value in the state, the pearl spot farming sector is on stagnation, unable to yield expected output given the potential resources,” he added.

Supply-demand mismatch

Kerala produces around 2,000 tonnes of pearl spot per annum through farming against a demand of 10,000 tonnes. This data shows how far the State is lagging behind the targeted aquaculture production of this fish, he said.

To increase the production, he said the sector requires a solid network of farmers, government agencies and aquaculture experts for ensuring the quality seeds and feeds which are essential for the smooth functioning and growth of the farming practice.

The institute successfully developed the technology of pair breeding of the fish that would help set up cost-effective modular units of pearl spot hatcheries and produce quality seeds for the farming, in required quantities at the required time. The institute is ready to provide all scientific and technological support if the state government develops a road map to improve the sector.

Slow growth

Slow growth of pearl spot is one of the reasons being faced by the aqua farmers as this fish would attain weight up to 200 gm during a long farming period of one year. To tackle this, CIBA proposes to go for selective breeding of the species that would help farmers harvest the crops with a profitable growth rate within six months.

However, it requires a comprehensive plan and financial assistance from the State government as the process is likely to take up to 5 years costing ₹5-10 crore for completion.

Published on August 12, 2020

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