A small group of fishermen from Sippikulam in the district, who had adopted sea-cage technique for lobster farming with the technical guidance of Tuticorin Research Centre of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI), have harvested Rs. 1.80 lakh-worth lobsters in just 90 days.
The ICAR-CMFRI introduced sea-net cage farming of lobsters and cobia through participatory mode with Sippikulam fishermen in September 2015.
The sea-cage farming of lobsters was done in floating galvanised iron (GI) net-cage (seven metres in diameter and three metres in depth).
A total of 550 underweight baby lobsters that were procured from nearby fish landing centres with an average size of 60 gram, were stocked in one cage.
The sea net cage was maintained by the fisherfolk with CMFRI’s technical guidance. The lobsters were fed once a day with clams and chopped low-value fishes adlibitum.
“After a farming period of 90 days, each lobster attained the average weight of 225 gram and approximately 100 kg of lobsters, worth about Rs. 1.80 lakh, were harvested recently,” said I. Jagadis, Principal Scientist, TRC of CMFRI.
M. Kumeresan, lobster farming entrepreneur, Gnanaraj, lobster sea-cage farmer and Rexon, cobia sea-cage farmer, shared their sea-cage farming experiences at Sippikulam.
Joint Director of Fisheries (Regional), Tuticorin, Amal Xavier, who participated in the harvest programme, explained in detail various State and Central government schemes available for sea-cage farming.
Issac Jayakumar, Assistant Director of Fisheries (Marine), urged the fishermen to go for sea-cage farming activities for ensuring good revenue.
Deputy Director, MPEDA, C.S. Shine Kumar, explained the subsidies available for construction of facilities for live and chilled export of marine fishes at the village.
Scientist TRC of CMFRI C. Kalidas briefed about the technical details of sea cage farming and appreciated the interest and involvement of the fisherfolk in the new technology.