Rearing popular and tasty pearlspot (karimeen in local parlance) variety of fish in cages has yielded a handsome harvest for Venugopal, a farmer in Chemancherry grama panchayat of Kozhikode district, and demonstrated how profitable this method of fish farming could be.
Scientists of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), who supported the farmer’s attempt to grow pearlspot fish in low-cost cages, said the technique of rearing fish in cages could be used to grow other types of fishes also.
Venugopal owed his success to Gulshad Mohammed and P.M. Manoj Kumar, CMFRI scientists, who had kept a close watch on rearing of pearlspot at Venugopal’s Madhav Fish Farm.
District panchayat president Kanathil Jameela reached Venugopal’s farm to inaugurate the harvesting of pearlspot fish, which has always been a favourite delicacy on Keralites’ menu.
The inaugural catch consisted of 250 kg of pearlspot from 10 cages.
The CMFRI scientists who explained the advantages of the technique of rearing fish in cages pointed out it was rapidly becoming popular across the country, more so since farmers were very well aware of the scarcity of different fish varieties in market and also because this technique was more eco-friendly compared to conventional methods of fish rearing.
Water bodies near the sea in northern Kerala have been found by CMFRI scientists to be particularly suited for cage culture of pearlspot. Each cage can accommodate between 150 to 200 fish seedlings. They grow big enough for harvesting in eight months. Other varieties of fish can also be grown using this technique.
The scientists hope the cage culture would attract more farmers since it is low cost and quite profitable. Kerala government has already declared pearlspot as the State Fish and observed 2010-11 as Pearlspot Year.
250 kg of fish from 10 cages Method can be used to grow other fishes: scientists
250 kg of fish
from 10 cages
Method can be used to grow other fishes: scientists