Aquaculture for all

Success Breeding Aquatic Weed Controlling Fish


BANGALORE, INDIA - Once found in plenty in the clear river waters of Western Ghats in Karnataka, "Haragi Meenu," a fish species with the potential to control acquatic weeds has been successfully bred at the city based Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) after five years of trials.

"The hatchlings are presently doing well in CIFA's nursery. Breeding of this fish in captivity is expected to be the first step in its propagation to return the fish to its former glory in rivers as well as exploiting its aquaculture potential," Prof Raghunath of CIFA told DeccanHerald.

According to DeccanHerald, he said the fish, weighing 4-5 kg once formed an important part of the commercial fishery sector, but the alarming decline in numbers in the last 10 years resulted in even small fish of the species seldom being spotted in commercial catches.

CIFA decided to breed this species as it is not only a much sought after delicacy in Western Ghat region, but also commands a high price and has the potential to control aquatic weeds. "We felt it necessary to conserve the species as part of our rich biodiversity heritage", he said.

Worried over the rapid decline, especially in the Tunga and Periyar rivers, CIFA initiated a programme to collect young fish of this species from rivers in 2003 to establish a captive population. The fish was adapted to static waters of aquaculture ponds after some initial problems.

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