CMFRI develops hatchery technology for high-value marine fish

In a breakthrough in diversification of the country’s mariculture activities, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI), here has developed hatchery technology for picnic sea bream (Acanthopagrus berda), a commercially important marine food fish.

This fish also known as black sea bream and gold silk sea bream, is famous for its excellent meat quality and high economic value.

A. Gopalakrishnan, director of CMFRI, said with the development of hatchery technology for picnic sea bream, Indian mariculture is poised for a new surge with an exponential increase in marine finfish production.

“The next task for us is to standardise the farming protocol of the fish as no record of breeding and aquaculture of this fish is available in the country. Considering the characteristics of the fish, mariculture of picnic sea bream is expected to be highly prospective in terms of attracting commercial benefits and meeting growing seafood demand in the near future,” said Gopalakrishnan.

In the domestic market, this variety commands a price of Rs 450 to Rs 500 per kg.

Locally called ‘karutha yeri’, the fish is an excellent species for mariculture owing to its faster growth rate, strong resistance to diseases and ability to cope with wide variations in environmental parameters such as salinity and temperature.

“The breeding technology, developed by the Karwar Research Centre of CMFRI, is expected to open up enormous scope for the country’s mariculture ventures in near future through species diversification,” added Gopalakrishnan.

The CMFRI is targeting 4 to 5 million metric tonnes fish production from mariculture.

“The CMFRI is ready to transfer this technology. This is the seventh marine food fish of which breeding technology was developed and it took around three years for the CMFRI scientists to develop the seed production technology for this fish,” added the director.