“State has potential to develop brackish water aquaculture”

September 29, 2016 12:00 am | Updated November 01, 2016 09:37 pm IST - Ramanathapuram

Farmers asked to adopt CIBA’s management measures for sustained development

: Thanks to the availability of 56,000 hectares of brackish water lands, Tamil Nadu has great potential to develop brackish water aquaculture, M. Jayanthi, Principal Scientist, Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) – Central Institute of Brackish water Aquaculture (CIBA) said.

Addressing a training workshop for the benefit of farmers engaged in shrimp aquaculture, organised by the National Innovations in Climatic Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) and CIBA here on Wednesday, she said the State could considerably increase production of shrimps, sea bass (fish) and mud crab if the lands were brought under aquaculture.

She said only 10 per cent of the brackish water lands, which could not be used for any other purpose other than aquaculture, was presently used for aquaculture. CIBA, the research institute was willing to provide alternative species and sustainable technologies and the Fisheries department and Marine Product Export Development Authority (MPEDA) could help to expand brackish water aquaculture, she said.

Besides sea bass and mud crab, farmers could grow ‘indicus,’ the native shrimp species, she said. Presently, farmers were cultivating ‘L.vannamei’, the species exported to foreign countries. Dismissing as ‘disinformation campaign’ that shrimp farms polluted waterbodies and environment, Ms. Jayanthi said shrimp was a ‘delicate animal’ and could survive only in clean brackish water.

“No chemical or anti-biotic is used in the farm ponds and there is no question of effluents let out from the ponds causing pollution to the environment,” she said. Analysis of soil, water and animal samples taken from 50 ponds in the district revealed that the soil and water conditions were good for shrimp culture, she said.

The samples were analysed under the guidance of K. K. Vijayan, Director of CIBA, she said.

However, the farmers were advised to adopt CIBA’s management measures for sustained development, she added.

There were 160 licensed shrimp farm ponds in the district and the farmers harvested about 4 tonnes per hectare in 120 to 150 days.

CIBA scientists sensitised the farmers to climate change impacts and adaptations measures and the training workshop was addressed and attended by scientists, research scholars, technical officers and farmers.

Scientists who addressed the workshop included M Muralidhar, M Kumaran, R Saraswathi, K P Kumaraguruvasagam, N Lalitha, Satheesha Avunje and M Makesh. M Kasinathapandian, Deputy Director of Fisheries addressed the inaugural session.

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