Indian research institute inks deal with Kerala state to establish multi-species fish hatchery
Chennai, India-based ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) has collaborated with the state of Kerala's fisheries department to build a multi-species fish hatchery in the state.
The research institute and the Kerala’s Agency for Development of Aquaculture (ADAK) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the facility in Thiruvananthapuram district, which is to implement initiatives adopted by the state’s Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma.
Under the MoU, the local government will receive scientific and technical support from CIBA to develop captive breeding and seed production technology of brackishwater fish species of commercial importance to Kerala including Asian seabass, milkfish, and the state’s pearl spot. The institute will also partner with the state government to carry out hands-on training courses to support human resource development in the area.
The collaboration between CIBA and the state is like a “game changer” in the brackishwater aquaculture sector of Kerala as it will create a model for technology transfer to support farmers, according to CIBA Director K.K. Vijayan.
“Kerala is endowed with rich brackishwater resources to the tune of 126,000 hectares. Since timely availability of fish seeds in sufficient quantity is still a major constraint, the brackishwater aquaculture is yet to explore its potential resources. Timely availability of seeds in a farmer-friendly way will help develop the sector,” Vijayan said, highlighting the importance of partnership between research organizations and government agencies in supporting sustainable aquaculture.
The new hatchery is expected to increase sustainable brackishwater fish production in Kerala as it helps address the shortage of seed of brackishwater species facing local farmers, Fisheries Department Secretary and ADAK Executive Committee Chairman Tinku Biswal said.
Given the potential benefits of the new collaboration between CIBA and the local government, ADAK Executive Director Dinesan Cheruvat said he expects similar partnerships will be expanded to other areas in the sector, such as indigenous feeds, aquatic animal health, and stock improvement.