Indian institute introduces hatchery technology for black sea bream

Published on
March 11, 2021

Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) announced it has successfully developed hatchery technology for black sea bream, bringing hopes for scaling up the country’s marine production in the coming years, ICAR-CMFRI said in a statement on 4 March.

Black seabream, known as picnic seabream in India, has good meat quality and is an important fish of high commercial value in India. Demand for the fish is high in the country, where it is sold at about INR 450 to INR 500 (USD 6.17 to USD 6.85, EUR 5.13 to EUR 5.70) per kilogram.

The institute believes the fish is an ideal species for mariculture given its fast growth rate, as well as its strong ability to resist disease and confront environmental changes, including salinity and temperature.

The new hatchery technology is expected to help diversify species raised in the country and significantly boost India’s mariculture ventures in the near term. 

“With the development of hatchery technology for picnic seabream, Indian mariculture is poised for a new surge with exponential increase in marine finfish production,” CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan said. “The next task of the institute is to standardize the farming protocol of the fish as no record of breeding and aquaculture of this fish is available in the country."

India aims to produce between 4 million and 5 million metric tons (MT) of fish from mariculture in the next 10 years. The diversification of species will help build up marine cage-farming activities across coastal states in India.

Gopalakrishnan said the research institute has spent almost three years developing the seed production technology for black sea bream. It is willing to transfer the breeding technologies for black seabream as well as other species it has developed to those seeking to begin commercial production of the seeds.

According to the director, apart from the hatchery technology for black sea bream, CMFRI has already developed breeding technologies for six other marine food fish species, including cobia, silver pompano, Indian pompano, orange-spotted grouper, pink ear emperor, and John’s snapper.

Photo courtesy of Kirill Zakabluk/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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