The Mumbai-based WestCoast Group, a fully integrated aquaculture company, has partnered with Norway’s AKVA Group for innovative and sustainable aquaculture solutions and technology.

The objective is to mechanise and improve fish and shrimp farm facilities, as the company foresees a strong market for aquaculture products with more State governments leasing out their water bodies for aquaculture.

In India, there is a potential to tap 4.5 million hectares of fresh water resources for fish production, Rahul Kulkarni, Director, WestCoast Group, said.

WestCoast will introduce AKVA’s new MC-250 modular cage for fish culture in inland water bodies such as reservoirs, rivers and lakes. The modular cage concept is tailor-made for Tilapia farming in lakes, rivers and sheltered marine sites.

The company, he said, would import, assemble and market the technologies. Local assembly would ensure its suitability to Indian conditions, bring down the costs by more than 50 per cent and make it affordable to farmers.

Unlike the conventional metal cages, which takes weeks for installation, he said the modular cage is user-friendly as any farmer can conveniently install and dismantle in a water body in a few hours. Also, the cages do not corrode, are more environmentally sustainable, and more productive with minimal maintenance.

Trond Severinsen, Senior Vice President – Technology and Development, AKVA group, said the company’s technology has been exported to more than 65 countries and for a wide variety of species for many decades.

WestCoast has put up 250 cages at Varasgaon and Panshet reservoirs near Pune for rearing Tilapia fish and plans to produce 10,000 tonnes of Tilapia from these two reservoirs in the next 12-18 months, Kulkarni added.