The Hindu , 18 May 2006

Marine hatchery complex for Mandapam

Ramanathapuram: The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has planned to construct a marine hatchery complex at Mandapam at a cost of Rs.2.75 crore to begin seed production of various marine species in a massive way. It has also planned to take up cage farming at a cost of Rs.two crore.

Its Director Mohan Joseph Modayil, and Principal Scientist-in charge, G. Gopakumar, said that the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) had agreed to fund the marine hatchery complex project while the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Union Ministry of Agriculture, would fund the project of cage farming at Mandapam, Kochi, Calicut and Tuticorin.

Fish feed centre

In addition, a national fish feed centre would be established at an estimate of Rs.1.25 crore at Mandapam, Kochi, Calicut and Tuticorin.

The proposed complex would play a vital role in finding seed technologies for rearing marine species including finfish like breams, rabbit fish and shellfish like oysters, crabs, shrimps and others, which have huge demand in the market.

Though the institute has hatcheries for prawn and ornamental fish varieties, these could not match the requirement because of their small capacity. But the new complex would house one of the modern marine ornamental fish hatcheries. Breeding tanks, brood stock development system, larval rearing system, live feed culture system, equipment room, dry and wet laboratory and other facilities would be established.

Mr. Gopakumar said the basic idea behind establishing the new complex was to open sea farming and cage farming to augment wealth of marine species.

Institution-based research would be taken to farmers so that marine fish production could be enhanced to meet the requirements.

This is a major step towards establishing an International Centre for Mariculture at Mandapam.

The institute has planned to train students and scientists of South East Asian countries on mariculture.