The common national portal and mobile app is for acquisition and integration of wetland data into a common digital repository, helping the stakeholders and the public to obtain time-to-time information on wetlands. Already developed geospatial wetland database of ISRO will further be strengthened by ICAR-CMFRI with field level inputs of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the wetlands. The ICAR-CMFRI with the support of other fisheries research institutions will play the lead role in generating periodic field level wetland datasets such as water quality, sediment quality, biodiversity and species health to help farmers utilise the wetlands for sustainable aquaculture as part of restoring the degraded wetlands in the country.
The collaborative initiative will help develop a comprehensive wetland information system which could facilitate the village level wetland advisories to the local people by scientific communities. The data generated will be stored in the SAC server with access to authorised scientific communities and the ICAR-CMFRI will act as the nodal centre for approving the latest data updates on wetlands submitted by collaborating fisheries institutions and stakeholders.
This is the first national instance that a fisheries institute is collaborating with ISRO to develop a comprehensive climate resilient framework for fisheries and wetlands. Real-time wetland advisories could enhance climatic resilience of small wetlands in the country.
Sea-ranching of green tiger shrimp in the Palk Bay
In continuation of the sea-ranching programme to replenish and enhance the shrimp stock and support the livelihood of the local fishing community, the Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) released seeds of green tiger shrimp (P. semisulcatus), locally known as ‘thaalai iral’ in the Palk Bay on 29th March 2019. The seeds were released in the presence of Dr. R. Jayakumar, Scientist-in-Charge, Dr. A. K. Abdul Nazar, Principal Scientist, Madras Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI, Shri. J. L. Ajith Stalin, Assistant Director of Fisheries, Mandapam, Officials of State Fisheries Department, Scientists and staff of Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI, leaders of fishermen associations and fishermen. The sea-ranching programme was coordinated by Shri. M. Sankar, and Dr. B. Johnson, Scientists of the centre.
The green tiger shrimp from the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar has been identified for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Fishery Improvement Project for this species is under process for obtaining the certification.
Genetic study on impact of sea-ranching
The Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) is being carried out by the ICAR-CMFRI in green tiger shrimp (Penaeus semisulcatus) population to evaluate the impact of sea-ranching on shrimp landings using polymorphic microsatellite molecular markers. The samples from landings are collected for genetic analysis.
Sea ranching of the hatchery reared cephalopod juveniles
In India, cephalopod fishery is gaining momentum day by day due to the increase in demand of squids and cuttlefishes from international export market leading to fishing pressure on cephalopod resources. At this juncture, attempt to supplement the existing fishery by means of regularly sea ranching will have a positive impact on replenishing the stock of cephalopods. Scientists while monitoring the cephalopod fishery and also enquiries from fishermen engaged in cephalopod fishery revealed that cephalopod egg masses are accidentally entangled in the fishing net and brought ashore and leading to destruction of egg masses. Hence, an attempt was made to collect possible numbers of viable eggs from the fishermen and transported them using aerated containers to Shellfish hatchery of TRC of CMFRI and reared to produce the juveniles from the egg masses and sea ranch them into fishing grounds.
The egg masses were collected and maintained in the hatchery species wise separately in well aerated 1 ton capacity FRP tanks and carefully monitored for hatching. In both Sepioteuthis lessoniana and Sepia pharaonis regular batch hatching is noticed in the hatchery. Newly hatched young ones were collected and stocked in rearing tanks and are fed with appropriate sized live-feed, i.e. mysids, ad libitum to the young cephalopods. The hatchlings of Sepioteuthis lessoniana and Sepia pharaonis were reared 30 and 40 days respectively. The hatchery grown juveniles were handed over to the fishermen in 10 litres aerated polythene bags for further release in the actual fishing ground. This programme is continuing since 2015 at Tuticorin.
In a major effort to increase the marine production, the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) released seeds of shrimp, cuttlefish and squid into the sea on 7th March 2019. The Mandapam Regional Centre of the ICAR-CMFRI released a total of 11 lakhs seeds of green tiger shrimp (Penaeus semisulcatus) was released at Villundi Theertham, Palk Bay, while the Tuticorin Research Centre of the Institute conducted the sea ranching of cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) and squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) at Tuticorin. A regular activity of the ICAR-CMFRI, the sea ranching is aimed at increasing the production of these species to ensure the livelihood of fishermen in the regions. This will also help conserving and maintaining the sustainability of the stocks in the wild.
Shri. K. Veera Raghava Rao I.A.S. District Collector of Ramanathapuram was the chief guest of the sea ranching programme by the Mandapam Regional Centre. The shrimp seeds were released in the presence of Shri. K. Muraleedharan, Member, Institute Management Committee of ICAR-CMFRI, leaders of fishermen associations, Dr. R. Jayakumar, Scientist-in-Charge, officials of State Fisheries Department, scientists and staff of Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI. When the fishermen venture into the sea for fishing after fishing ban period, these shrimps will be available to support their livelihood. During 2017-18, the Mandapam Centre had released 1.7 million seeds of green tiger shrimp into the sea in Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay region and 1.4 million seeds of the species in 2018-19 at Kunthukal (Gulf of Mannar) and Sangumal (Palk Bay).
Smt. N. Chandra, Joint Director of Fisheries (Regional), Tamil Nadu State Fisheries Department, Thoothukudi was present on the occasion of the sea ranching carried out by Tuticorin Research Centre of CMFRI. The programme is intended to enhance the cephalopod stock in Tuticorin. Dr. P.P. Manojkumar, Principal Scientist & Scientist-in-Charge, Dr. I. Jagadis, Dr. C.P. Suja, Principal Scientists and Dr. L. Ranjith and Shri. D. Linga Prabu, Scientists were present during the program.
Tuticorin Research Centre Conducts Skill Development Programme on Open Sea Cage Farming
In its 2nd phase of the NFDB skill development programme, the Tuticorin Research Centre of ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) conducted a three-day training programme on open sea cage culture and mariculture to 50 selected fishers from different coastal village of Thoothukudi district from 26th to 28th February 2019.
While delivering the inaugural address at the function, Smt. N. Chandra, Joint Director of Fisheries (Regional), Tamil Nadu State Fisheries Department appreciated the efforts taken by TRC of CMFRI for the promotion of open sea cage culture and mariculture activities among the fisher folks of Thoothukudi district. Dr. P. P. Manojkumar, Principal Scientist & Scientist-in-charge, TRC of ICAR-CMFRI, welcomed the gathering. The training was focused on methods of sea cage farming of commercially important marine fishes and shellfishes, Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture farming practices, seaweed culture, pearl culture and low cost fish feed development. Training notes (in Tamil) were released by Smt. N. Chandra. The programme also included field visits to model sea cage farmin in Sippikulam and Keelaviapar followed by practical demonstration on site selection for cage farming, GI cage fabrication, cage culture of sea bass and lobster. The trainees were exposed to various seaweed culture methods along Thoothukudi coast. An exclusive practical demonstration session on the seaweed raft prepration, prepration of monolines and seeding of seaweeds as a component of IMTA were also given to the trainees.
The programme had invited lectures by Mr. M. Saravanan, Assistant Technical Manager, RGCA; Dr. P. Rameshkumar, Scientist, ICAR-Mandapam RC of CMFRI; and Smt. Uma Kalaiselvi, Assistant Director of Fisheries, Thoothukudi.
ICAR-CMFRI trains youth to become entrepreneurs through cage fish farming
In a major effort which is beneficial to hundreds of families in Kadamakkudy panchayat, the ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) conducted a three-day skill development programme to the youth in the panchayat to help them become small-scale entrepreneurs in cage fish farming from 23rd to 25th February 2019.
Jointly with the Korampadam Service Co-operative Bank, Kothad, the ICAR-CMFRI provided them training in various stages of cage fish farming such as cage fabrication, site identification, species selection, feed management, harvest and marketing. As many as 114 villagers attended the training that also included visits to cage farming sites and practical lessons. The collaborative programme has been linked with ICAR-CMFRI’s ongoing project launched last year aiming to train 5000 fishermen across the country in practicing cage fish farming with the financial assistance of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB).
In further step to promote the cage farming enterprises in the backwaters of the panchayat, the ICAR-CMFRI will offer all the technical guidance to the villagers while the Bank will give them loan as initial capital to those starting the cage fish farming. The CMFRI will extend technical support to the farmers on each phases of the cage farming to empower them becoming entrepreneurs in the field. Cage fish farming will act as a source for additional income to the fishermen and it will help increase the domestic fish production as well. Species such as cobia, seabass, snappers, mullet and pearl spot will be used for cage farming.
The ICAR- CMFRI has so far trained 2500 fishermen all over the country, and around 2500 cage fish farming units are currently operational across the coastal states under CMFRI’s technical guidance.
Two day Training programme on "Crab resources of India and culture methods"
at ICAR-CMFRI, Kochi,
during 14-15 March, 2019