Looking for a place to spend a day? How about going fishing and idling in the waters or off it and having some of the fish that you caught fried then and there. When you are through with it, may be you can take a walk on the nearby Chappa beach or even go for a swim if you are all geared up.
Fun topped with fish curry meals is what the Fish Farm at Njarackal in Vypeen island run by the Kerala State Cooperative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd (Matsyafed) has in store for you.
Just 12.5 kilometres from the High Court junction, the Matsyafed Fish Farm in the coastal village is a tourism project that had come up about four years ago as part of the Tsunami Ecotourism Assistance Project. The farm charges Rs. 150 as entry fee for a person (children from four to 12 years are charged Rs. 100) and that includes the package for pedal or row boating and the sea food lunch.
The brackish water Fish Farm though spread in 15 hectares, only five hectares have been developed for the tourism project. The depth of water in the farm is never more than 3 metres and it is maintained with the help of sluice gates. The visitors can enjoy angling and also take home the catch at a subsidised rate.
Some of the 8-10 varieties of seafood that are found in the Fish Farm are Pearl Spot (karimeen), Milk Fish (poomeen), Mullets, Tilapia, Cat fish, red mullets, prawns and crab. The crab harvest last season was one of the greatest achievements of the Farm in which they sold the crustaceans to the tune of Rs. 90,000 after investing Rs. 30,000 for the seedlings, said the Farm Manager K. S. Ponnappan.
The lovely natural setting perhaps can do with a little more support from the Fisheries department to provide better infrastructure and some more attractive props for the eco-tourism venture that is attracting a lot of domestic tourists.