Staff Reporter

Scientists breed the cobia fish in cages

Tuticorin: The scientists of FCRI recorded (identified) the breeder cobia fish on the Tuticorin coast.

Fisheries College and Research Institute, Tuticorin, implemented an Indian Council for Agriculture and Research (ICAR) - National Agricultural Innovative Project (NAIP) project on “an export oriented marine value chain for farmed seafood production using cobia through rural entrepreneurship” during January 2009 in collaboration with institutes like Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture (CIBA) and Central Marine Fisheries and Research Institute (CMFRI) with a total budget of Rs.2.6 crore.

V.K. Venkataramani, Dean, FCRI, told The Hindu that the survey was made and results showed the availability of breeder cobia fish in the localities of Mandapam (Ramnathapuram), Amalinagar, Kombuthurai, Manapad and Threshpuram, Tuticorin fishing harbour, Tharuvaikulam and Kanyakumari.

“The fish is mainly caught using hook with Fibre Glass Reinforced (FRP) boat vessel. The availability depends on the season and the peak season for the catch is from April to August every year. It is rarely caught and hardly represents below 1 per cent of the annual catch,” he said.

Recently a male cobia fish weighing 8 kilogram was caught on Tuticorin coast. J.D. Jameson, Director of Research, FCRI, and N. Felix, Principal Investigator, examined the biological parameters such as food, feeding and maturity of cobia fish.

“The stomach of cobia is filled with varieties of small fishes indicating the voracious feeding habit of the fish. The pair of testis is very well developed and fully matured weighing 69 grams. The results showed that the mature fish could be obtained when the fishes were in the size of around 8 kilogram with its age of two plus years,” Dr. Venkataramani said.

The scientists of FCRI have started breeding cobia fish in cages.

The fish seeds raised would be reared in cages by feeding live feeds. The technology developed for breeding and seeding the cobia fish would be disseminated to fish growers so that they could uplift the economic status to enhance their livelihoods by culturing the species which could attain faster growth of 2 kilogram within six months in cages, the Dean added.