A caged aquaculture demonstration project in inland water, a first in the State in the Pookode Lake in Wayanad district, proves to be a great success.

It was launched by the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Bangalore, in association with the State Fisheries Department.

As much as 80 kg fish was caught in the first harvest from a demonstration battery, consisting of two cages measuring nine sq m a cage. It recorded a good growth of the fish. As many as 200 fingerlings of the Indian major carp species had been deposited in a cage nearly seven months ago and 160 of had an average size of 500 g now, B.K. Sudheer Kishan, assistant director-in-charge, Fisheries Department, said.

The project was launched to sensitise farmers to the scope of caged fish farming.

Caged aquaculture has a vast potential in the district as the innumerable water bodies, including the reservoirs of the Karapuzha and Banasura Sagar projects, were yet to be tapped properly, M. Feroz Khan, scientist-in-charge, CIFRI, told The Hindu. Mr. Khan is supervising the project.

Moreover, it was a cost-effective method of fish farming as the farmers could feed, evaluate the growth of the fish, and harvest without any difficulty. Total harvesting and swift return of investment; less mortality rate; less requirement of manpower; better control of fish population; efficient control of fish competitors and predators; and minimum supervision were the added advantages, he added.

Mr. Khan said the CIRFI was planning to launch caged aquaculture in the Karapuzha reservoir soon. P. Gagarin, president, Vythiri grama panchayat, inaugurated the harvest.

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