The marine fish, locally known as Chanduva Para, which is being cultivated in two acres of brackish water in Nagayalanka mandal, survived without any retardation in growth despite the recent bad weather. The Hindu reports that this is the first marine fish being cultivated in brackish waters in Krishna district.
Scientists from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Chennai, provided the Silver Pompano seed to the Nagayalanka-based farmer, T. Raghu Sekhar, in July. The tenant farmer sowed the seed in his two-acre pond at Peda Kammavaripalem in Nagayalanka mandal.
“Of the total 6,000 seeds released into the pond, not a single fish died and growth is expected to reach the maximum of 400 gm to 420 gm by the time of the first harvest due in March,” Mr Sekhar told The Hindu.
By the fourth month the fish grew to the size of a palm and also turned white. They were able to tolerate the vagaries of weather, Mr Sekhar said. There is great demand for the Silver Pompano, a marine fish, in the domestic market all along the coast in Andhra Pradesh. But there was a drastic fall in the catch of the variety of fish in the ocean. The fishermen were not sure when and in which weather conditions they could catch this variety of fish in the ocean, Mr Sekhar said.
The cultivation of these fish was, however, tricky because the salinity of the water should be maintained between five and 40 PPT (parts per thousand) for the fish to thrive and grow.
“Domestic market prices are very lucrative for Silver Pompano, fetching Rs 200 a kg. At times when the cultivation of tiger prawn and high risk Vannamei shrimp are driving the farmer into losses frequently, shifting to cultivation of marine fish species is being seen as a viable and lucrative option,” added Mr Sekhar