Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has achieved yet another success in breeding grouper Epinephelus tauvina for the first time at Visakhapatnam Regional Centre. The non- availability of sufficient quantity of seeds at the right time is the major constraint in the farming of groupers.
At the centre, live groupers of varying sizes (2.0 to 10.0 kg) were collected from the wild and were stocked in cages maintained near to the shore. Successful sex reversal (female to male) achieved with hormonal and enzymatic manipulation. Fishes were implanted with different doses of enzymes. Female fish with intra ovarian ova of diameter >450µ and sex reversed male were used for induced spawning. After 19-20 hours of incubation at a temperature range of 28-30 degree Celsius, the eggs hatched out with 78 % hatching rate. The newly hatched larvae measured in total length from 1.0-1.4 mm. Mixed feeding schedule was followed from 15th day post hatch with Artemia nauplii, copepods and artificial diets.
This success will go a long way in promoting grouper aquaculture in cages as well as in grow-out ponds in the country. This is the first successful larval rearing of greasy grouper in India. CMFRI initiated this challenging task almost two decades ago and developed the brood stock, induced breeding and seed production technology, with the improved and state of the art laboratory facilities indigenously. Now arrangements are being made to grow the seed of this fish in pond conditions on a participatory mode.
The greasy grouper Epinephelus tauvina is major species in India and not available in sufficient quantity in the capture fisheries. It is one of the fast growing groupers and commands excellent live markets also. It can grow upto one kg in about 9 months after the initial nursery. It fetches a farm gate price of Rs.200 in domestic market.
(Source: CMFRI, Cochin)