The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), has claimed to have made a breakthrough in breeding and larval production of Cobia, a huge fish that is rarely netted by fishermen.

“For the first time in the country, we have succeeded in brood stock developing, captive breeding and larval production of Cobia,” CMFRI Principal Scientist and in charge of the regional centre at Mandapam, Dr G. Gopakumar told PTI.

At present, cobia caught in the deep sea does not support major commercial fishery and is generally considered “incidental catch,” he said.

He said broodstock development was obtained in sea cages by feeding the larvae with suitable broodstock diets. “Methods for induced breeding were also developed and successful spawning and larval production was achieved,” he added.

Currently work is in progress to produce fish seeds that would be supplied to the farmers very soon. Gopakumar said fast growth rate, adaptability for captive breeding, lowest cost production, good meat quality and high market demand were some of the attributes that makes Cobia an excellent species for aquaculture.

“Under ideal culture conditions, Cobia can reach 3-4 kg in body weight in one year and 8-10 kg in two years,” he said, adding the number of eggs produced in each spawning by a female weighing 15 kg ranges from two to three million.