East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, 17th April, 2012
The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) located in all maritime states of India, in its quest to introduce new species of fish to Indian Aquaculture successfully bred Silver Pompano, a fish which is akin to highly priced Pomfrets. Very few countries are successful in breeding this fish and the entire world production is only about 300 tonnes. After the successful larval rearing they were transported by road in the last week of August 2011from Mandapam, near Rameswaram in Tamilnadu to Antervedi in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh at a distance of 1200 km and stocked in 1 acre pond of a farmer. About 3,600 seed were stocked and fed with indigenous pellet feed and maintained good pond environment, resulting in a survival of more than 95%. The formulated pellet feed cost is about Rs 25/kg. An Feed Conversion Ratio of 1:1.8 was achieved in this crop. During the course of 8 months they reached a size range of 450-550 g weight, which is an excellent table size for marketing. This fish tolerates wide salinity range from 5 ppt to 35 ppt and can feed at all angles, which makes it a versatile and most aquaculture friendly species. Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation has taken up the marketing in Bangalore, where it is popularly referred as American Pomfret. By separating the nursery phase it is possible to have two harvests in one year. About 12,000 seed can be stocked in one hectare and about 5 tons of fish can be harvested for each crop.
Silver pompano looks and tastes like silver pomfrets and fetches a farm gate price of about Rs 200/kg. It is the most prized high value marine fish, which is rarely available in the sea. They were collected as young ones, nurtured them to maturity and successfully induced them to spawn with suitable hormonal protocols developed by the Institute. The total availability of high valued marine fish in India from marine capture fisheries is about 2 lakh tonnes per year. Such fish are in great demand in all Metros, particularly during April-July period due to the national trawl ban on east coast and west coast successively. The demand during this period is estimated at about 2 lakh tonnes and fetches the highest price during this period. In this context Silver pompano ‘s harvest gains lot of importance to aquaculture along with other marine fish already bred by CMFRI to bring lakhs of acres of barren coastal saline low lying lands to produce the high valued fish, thus improving the food production and nutritional enhancement of the country.
The harvest was conducted on17th April, 2012 in presence of about 300 leading aqua farmers of coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Local MP and peoples representatives press and electronic media.
(Source : CMFRI, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh)