Demonstration of milkfish farming in Brackishwater Penculture system in Pulicat, Tamil Nadu


23rd October 2018, Pulicat, Tamil Nadu

ICAR-Central Institute Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai has successfully demonstrated an innovative two tier milkfish farming, nursery rearing of fingerlings and grow-out in an open water pen erected in the brackish water body,  as a livelihood initiative for the benefit of tribal families, supported by CIBA  under Tribal Sub Plan. Both nursery and grow out culture have given economically impressive results - where in 0.5g milkfish fry stocked in the nursery pond @ 2nos/m2 attained an average body weight of 12 g with a survival rate of 70% in 43 days. Subsequently, these 12g size milkfish fingerlings were transferred to a pen culture enclosure erected in pulicat lake area, and stocked @ 2.5 nos/m2 in a 400 m2 pen system. Feeding was done with slow sinking formulated feed, ‘CIBApolyplus’, with a cost of ~Rs. 30/kg developed by CIBA @ 2-3% body weight on daily basis. After 55 days of grow out culture, the fish attained an average body weight of 125g - 180g with a survival rate of 70%.  A production of 60 kg milkfish was harvested. The cost of production was worked out to be Rs.80/kg. The fishes were sold @ Rs.120/kg with the net return of Rs.40 and Benefit Cost Ratio is 1.25. The present demonstration showed that milkfish farming in open water systems is technically feasible and economically viable, environmentally friendly and sustainable in providing livelihood to the tribal families, other communities with access to water bodies.


A Harvest function was conducted today at the demonstration site Kanavanthurai village, Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu.

Around 100 participants including village panchayat president, progressive fish and shrimp farmers, tribal families, officials from Chennai Petro Chemicals Ltd., who are partnering with CIBA in supporting the coastal families for their economic improvement elsewhere under corporate social responsibility (CSR) scheme, officials from Bank of India (BOI), participated in the function.

Scientists from CIBA involved in the livelihood support programme, Dr. C.P. Balasubramanian, Dr. B. Shanthi, Dr. M. Kailasam, Dr. P. Mahalakshmi, Dr. C.V. Sairam, Technical officers and staffs from CIBA, school teachers and children, tribal beneficiaries also participated in the programme. 

(Source: ICAR-Central Institute Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai)