Aquaculture for all

Fishermen to Benefit from Fish Breeding Project in Tamil Nadu

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INDIA - The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)is planning to breed fish in cages a few kilometers offshore along the Tamil Nadu coast.

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The institute has done pilot studies using cages of 9 meter in diameter that yielded up to 10 tonnes of fish and is now ready with cages of up to 20m diameter.

The project aims to breed fish including parrot fish, sea bass, pompano and cobia, which are sought after in the export market, reports TimesofIndia.

NIOT director M A Atmanand said about 10 cage culture units have been used successfully in three locations — Olakkuda near Ramanathapuram, Kotha Chathiram near Nellore and Port Blair.

"So that fishing communities can benefit from the technology, we are approaching funding agencies. Coordination between fishing cooperative societies and funding agencies will help fishermen earn from cage culture," he said.

For its experimental projects, NIOT procured fish seeds from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture in Nagapattinam.

H Mohamad Kasim, former principal scientist at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, said the NIOT technology will be a success if it is implemented effectively.

"Sourcing suitable fish seeds and proper feeding will make it a success. Effective measures to prevent theft and other damage to the fish culture have to be ensured," he said.

The harvest from the cage culture will get a better price in the market because dead fish entangled in normal fishing nets only reach the market after several hours or days. "If there is an efficient market chain benefiting fishermen, there will be a huge demand for fish raised in the cage culture," said Mr Kasim.

"High-density polyethylene is used to build the cage and it will last for more than seven years," he said.

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