After continuous efforts for five years, the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) in Chennai has succeeded in developing broodstock and seed production technology of Mangrove Red Snapper, a fish species with good commercial value.
Known as ‘Seppili’ in Tamil, ‘Chemballi’ in Malayalam and ‘Tagoo/Thundava’ in Telugu, Mangrove Red Snapper is distributed in Indo-West Pacific waters and is a fast-growing species. The market price is between ₹400 and ₹600 per kg.
“This research outcome with induced maturation, breeding and larval rearing during the last 5 years, resulted in the hatchery production of red snapper seed, a first in the country. This species which readily accepts formulated feed can grow to marketable size of 300-500 gm, in less than 6 months, making it a farmer’s choice,” said K.K. Vijayan, the Director of CIBA.
CIBA has been placing thrust on the breeding of Mangrove Red Snapper since 2016, giving special focus on developing a captive broodstock and breeding technique. Captive broodstock development programme was initiated with the collection of juveniles of 50 gram from the wild. In three to four years in captivity the fishes attained maturity. As a result of concerted efforts, successful breeding and larval production of Mangrove Red Snapper was achieved using captive stock in 2019. CIBA has consecutively bred and produced seeds in the subsequent years.
“The fish has immense potential for brackishwater aquaculture owing to its fast growth rate, easy adaptability to culture conditions, quick acceptance of artificial feed, pleasant appearance, good meat quality and high consumer preference. It is an ideal candidate species for pond and cage aquaculture systems.,” said M. Kailasam, Principal Scientist and Head-in-Charge, Fish Culture Division, who lead the culture team.
J.K.Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries), ICAR, New Delhi, distributed the first batch of red snapper fingerlings to potential farmers through online mode. “It is a significant step in the species diversification front and in the Indian brackishwater aquaculture front,” he said.