Manisha Garg

It is being looked at as an attractive proposition during off-season

VISAKHAPATNAM: After the success of the Asian Sea Bass culture in the floating cage, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) is set to launch the second phase of the experiment.

Last time the concentration was on the moorings but this time the CMFRI has been looking for ways to know the commercial viability of culturing fish.

Two floating cages were being planned. One will be approximately 17 metres in diameter and the other will be the recently designed smaller cage of five-metre diameter. The smaller cage will be for checking its feasibility for individual fishermen.

It is being looked at as an attractive proposition for fishermen particularly during off- season.

Alternative

Talking to The Hindu, Principal and in-charge Scientist of the CMFRI G. Syda Rao said,

“We are waiting for the weather to improve so that there is better underwater visibility and the cages are installed in the sea. The sea catch has already been harnessed to its potential in the country.

The alternative way to increase the fish yield is through cage culture.

We have already requested the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries for evolving the policy of leasing sea in India for the same.

In South East Asian countries including Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam, GPS markings are made in the sea for fishermen and its is high time India evolved a leasing policy”.

The new smaller cage will be mechanically superior having provision for hanging the net, more sturdy hooking for the net with sun blinkers added. It has a capacity of 100 cubic metres and minimum diving facilities are required. The estimated cost of the cage is Rs.1.5 lakhs.

Last time, the results were excellent with 550 kg of sea bass collected having an average weight of 600 gm each during four months. The survival rate of the fish is 75 per cent and the maximum weight of each fish is 1.2 kg.