Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute is growing hatchery-produced seedlings in the cage put up in the sea

The cage culture of Asian Sea Bass, a species of large perch popular for its taste among fish lovers, on the shore near RK beach in the city has impressed experts from IIT Kharagpur and National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai.

By making use of innovative technology, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) is growing the hatchery-produced seedlings in the cage put up in the sea on March 3 for an experimental study.

Some 10,000 seedlings were brought from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture, near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. IIT and NIOT experts visited the cage culture site on Tuesday and expressed satisfaction over the results achieved so far.

Jalaripeta Fishermen Society is involved in the pilot project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture. “After 45 days of implementing the project, we found 90 per cent survival rate which is praiseworthy by any yardstick,” Dr. G. Maheswarudu, Principal Scientist and in-charge of CMFRI here told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Instead of culturing the seedlings in ponds for sea trial, they were bred in rectangular shaped Hapa net with 2 mm mesh. They are being fed thrice a day with day and night patrolling in a country boat by local fishermen.

After completion of 10-month project, the seedlings weighing two grams are expected to grow up to one kg. Sea bass is priced at Rs.350 to Rs.400 per kg in retail market.