The Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai has developed an innovative technology for easy propagation of the fish Pearlspot by breeding under environmentalcontrolled conditions. The fish pearlspot (Etroplus suratensis) known as “Karimeen” in Kerala, is an excellent table fish of delicacy, fetching a good market price up to Rs.350/kg. It can be farmed under extensive and intensive farming in freshwater and salt water eco-systems in ponds and cages. It can be farmed in homestead ponds in the backyard of houses which can serve as an occupation for poverty alleviation and high valued fish production in states like Kerala.
At its Muttukadu Field Centre, CIBA has successfully developed a captive broodstock of pearlspot fish in cages from diverse genetic pool (from Pulicat and Muttukadu in Tamil Nadu and Kumarakam in Kerala) and established a simple and effective facility for consistent seed production of this fish species. An average of 1200 juveniles can be obtained from a pair of parent fishes. The “Matsya Keralam” Scheme has taken up a massive programme for the farming of brackish-water fishes on large scale increasing demand for the quality pearlspot fish juveniles. As a beginning, on 2nd July 2011, the hatchery produced seeds of pearlspot were supplied to Women Self Help Group fish farmers from Kerala.
The CIBA, Chennai has been approached by the Kerala Government to extend its know-how and expertise with regard to this technology for seed production and grow-out of pearlspot fish, as well as in their other programmes to promote pearlspot fish production in the state. Efforts are also being made to promote pearlspot fish culture in derelict inland saline wetlands of Karnataka.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA with inputs from CIBA, Chennai)