Agri Business

CMFRI’s novel venture yields bumper harvest of green mussels

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on May 25, 2021

The marine institute reaped rich harvest through its integrated farming combined with cage fish and seaweed farming

An experimental farming on a commercial scale has proved that the innovative farming technology — Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) practice — is successful and well suitable to Kerala’s ecosystem.

A bumper harvest of green mussel was recorded in the integrated farming combined with cage fish and seaweed farming undertaken by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute under participatory mode with fish farmers in Moothakunnam in Ernakulam district.

The IMTA combines appropriate proportions of fish, seaweeds and filter feeding bivalves in farming to create balanced systems for environmental and economic stability. CMFRI started the venture in December last year as part of its research initiative for developing a sustainable cage fish farming model suitable for Kerala’s ecosystem.

Better yield

The first harvest among the three crops of the integrated farming, yielded around one tonne of green mussel from 150 strings hung around as many as four fish cages. Individual mussels grew to the size of 72 g which is a successful growth rate in mussel farming. Even as the harvest was taking place during the Covid lockdown, the entire produce sold out in no time as there was a huge demand for green mussels.

A good harvest with better growth rate of green mussel showed that IMTA practice is economically feasible and well suitable to Kerala’s condition. A scientific team led by Shoji Joseph, Principal Scientist of CMFRI, also observed that the fishes inside the cage attained better growth and seaweed being cultured around the cage showed healthy status with fast growth rate. Fish will be harvested by the end of the next month.

CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan said the institute would take steps to popularise the IMTA practice across the coastal States as in the case of cage fish farming. CMFRI has successfully developed a model of IMTA practice on open sea waters of Tamil Nadu which helps coastal people fetch increased income.

Published on May 24, 2021

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