Agri Business

Insufficient supply of karimeen in Kerala

V SAJEEV KUMAR Kochi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on January 22, 2015


Farmers encouraged to go for pearl spot culture

For tourists visiting Kerala, Karimeen or pear spot fished-based dishes are an added attraction. Low on fat and high on protein, the dishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and riboflavin. Karimeen, a costly affair now due short supply, is likely to become more affordable, thanks to the efforts of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

Helped by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Ernakulam), the institute has launched pearl spot seed production.

According to Shinoj Subramannian, Programme coordinator, KVK, pear spot fish annual production of 2,000 tonnes now is insufficient to meet demand. Demand in the domestic market is projected to rise to 10,000 tonnes. To bridge the supply-demand gap, many farmers have taken up pearl spot culture as it is a profiting enterprise.

Since Kerala declared pearl spot as the State fish in 2011, there has been growing demand for the seeds. Low fecundity (productivity rate of an organism) and the parental care required for juveniles of this particular variety are the major constraints in large-scale seed production. Currently, seeds (fry/fingerlings) required for the culture are collected from the wild due to constraints in hatchery production. However, over-exploitation of indigenous pearl spot seeds from the wild has resulted in the depletion of standing stock in recent times.

Subramannian said that through this participatory method KVK intends to ensure mass seed production by trained farmers. The first such sale was conducted at a satellite seed production centre at Kumbalangi in Ernakulam district.

PA Vikas, subject matter specialist, KVK, said natural seed production is assisted by creating well-prepared ponds to ensure healthy brood stock.

The average seed production during peak season will range from 30,000-35,000 per acre and during other times, it would be around 15,000-20,000 per acre.

A farmer can easily fetch a yearly gross income of ₹5 lakh per acre, while the production cost will be only ₹1.5 lakh per acre, he said.

Published on January 22, 2015
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