Plan to produce hatchlings of three popular fish species

August 20, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:41 am IST - Ramanathapuram:

The Tamil Nadu Fisheries University has proposed to establish breeding and hatchery units to produce hatchlings of three popular marine fish species — Milkfish, Cobia and Seabass — for cage culture at its facility at the coastal Seeniappa Dargah near Mandapam in this district.

The units, with financial assistance of Rs. 1.3 crore from the National Agriculture Development Programme, would be established at TNFU’s Marine Finfish Breeding Centre at Seeniappa Dargah, K. Rathnakumar, acting Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, said.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the ‘Skill development training on basic culture technique for shrimp farm assistants’ programme here on Friday, he said the breeding, hatchery and rearing units, which would come up in the next couple of months, would go a long way in meeting the huge demand for hatchlings for cage culture.

Brood stock of the species would be maintained at the breeding unit and the hatchlings reared for required sizes at the hatcheries, Mr. Rathnakumar said. To begin with, the units would have a capacity to produce five million hatchlings and the capacity could be increased to produce up to 10 million hatchlings, depending on demand, he said.

Apart from supplying hatchlings of the three marine fish species, the university would train and demonstrate the local fishermen on cage culture technique and help them earn additional income by rearing the species, he said.

“The cage culture of the marine species will be an ideal alternative livelihood for fishermen who are dependent on fishing in the sea,” he said. The fishermen and farmers could also rear the species under pond fishing method using the culture technique, he added.

The university had also approached the National Fisheries Development Board for establishing a marine ornamental breeding centre, taking advantage of the non-polluted seawater in the area, ideally suited for rearing the sensitive ornamental fish, he said.

The centre would have facilities to rear about 20 species of marine ornamental fish and the university had signed a memorandum of understanding with an entrepreneur at Kolathur in north Chennai for the purpose. Women fisherfolk in the coastal areas of the district would be trained to rear the fish in required sizes in their backyards to help them earn additional income, he added.

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