Can marine or sea animals be grown in inland waters? Probably not. But the researchers of the ICAR’s Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), Mumbai have made it possible. CIFE’s scientists at its Lahli-Baniyani fish farm, Rohtak in Haryana have developed an innovative technology for commercial farming of marine tiger shrimp/prawn (Penaeus monodon) in inland ground saline waters. The new technology uses the land that has gone waste by becoming saline and is not fit for growing anything.
Tiger shrimp dwells in seawater and is considered as the best marine prawn having a big market globally. Owing to high growth rate and meat quality, it contributes a large share in the Indian fish export. This meat commodity is in a great demand and fetches farmers higher rates as compared to chicken, mutton and most of the fishes available in the Indian market.
Tiger prawn cannot survive in inland saline waters due to ionic differences as compared to seawater. But CIFE scientists at Rohtak centre have successfully grown this prawn in inland water through an innovative and cost effective technology for ionic management. Trials with seeds brought from Kakinada (AP) were conducted last year. The results have shown an average survival rate of 65% with an average net production of 661 Kg/ha in 110 days culture duration. This year, scientists were able to achieve a net shrimp production of 1340 Kg/ha with a survival rate of 84% in 110 days culture duration during the recent field trials in Rohtak. These trials have resulted in more or less the same production and survival rates as in the coastal regions. As one crop takes only four months to harvest, so farmers can easily take two crops per year and so helping raise their income.
In India, around 6.1 million acres of land is affected by salinity and the problem is rising at an alarming rate especially in north-western states. Saline land is unfit for agriculture. However, the technology developed by CIFE offers a viable solution for profitably managing the problem of soil and water salinity and simultaneously providing reasonable employment opportunities to farmers. This technology is much cheaper and effective than other salinity mitigation