Pen culture, the new fish farming practice introduced by Kerala University of Fisheries Ocean Studies, has turned out to be a success in Puthenvelikkara Panchayat near here. This less expensive fish farming method using net fencing has enabled a group of farmers in Thiruthoor to harvest a bumper catch of Pearl Spot (Karimeen), Red Snapper (Chembally) and Giant Trevally (Vatta).

Around 150 kg of crops were harvested from a seven-month long farming cultured in an area of 120 square metre in Kottappuram lake near Periyar.  

As part of its Samagra Matsyagramam project, KUFOS introduced pen culture among the farmers in the panchayat with an objective to introduce low-cost farming practices and attract youngsters and women groups into fish farming.  

The varsity had successfully developed and popularised the Chinese net-based cage farming using low cost budget. Introduced as part of popularising diversified fish farming practices, pen culture has received good response from farmers. Fish lingers of all the fish species collected from the Chinese net were stocked into the area which was fenced using net.

B Madhusoodana Kurup, KUFOS Vice Chancellor said that the University would promote green aquaculture by adopting energy-free farming methods. The Samagra Matsyagramam project is one of the finest examples of green aquaculture. By minimising energy, avoiding company feeds and fish meals and adopting eco-based methods, the Varsity has managed to develop a new farming system viable to ecosystem.

Emphasising the need to make popular low-cost farming technologies to increase the aquaculture production, he pointed out that big budget farming methods would only keep laymen away from the farming.

He warned that the cage culture methods being developed intending to meet the requirements of the corporate houses would lead to the destruction of ecosystem. He also called upon the State government to come up with a new leasing policy to effectively utilise the brackish and fresh water resources.