Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Dr Abhilaksh Likhi visited ICAR-CMFRI-Vizhinjam Regional Centre. He also visited the marine fish hatchery at Thiruvananthapuram and interacted with scientists and fish farmers. Further, he visited the National Brood Bank of Silver Pompano, the marine ornamental and live feed culture unit and the bivalve hatchery. Dr Abhilaksh Likhi also visited the Sagarika Marine Research Aquarium.
The Secretary appreciated the work being undertaken by the scientists and researchers. He highlighted that the proposal for developing the mussel hatcheries especially for its sustainable production in coastal waters; it is an important activity to be undertaken. He further added that restoring and enhancing the natural habitats of pearl oysters through sea ranching of hatchery-produced oyster spats in the sea would help create a harmonious balance between resource conservation and economic sustainability. He said that this initiative is expected to rejuvenate the natural habitat of mussels and oysters, ultimately supporting the livelihoods of numerous fishermen’s families.
Marine ornamental fish production as a livelihood option
The Secretary also visited the Sagarika Marine Research Aquarium and the ornamental fish hatchery and was keen to know the potential of ornamental species there. Dr Abhilaksh Likhi highlighted the impact of ornamental fish as a livelihood option and emphasised CMFRI’s efforts to popularise the ornamental fish culture technology by giving training to fish farmers and entrepreneurs. He also interacted with fish farmers and entrepreneurs and distributed ornamental fish seeds for rearing in ornamental fish production units.
Live feed hub to boost fish seed production
Viewing that mariculture including cage fish farming is a transformative source of livelihood for fishing communities, the Secretary, of DoF mentioned that CMFRI’s concept of ‘Live Feed Hub’ is a promising solution for ensuring live feeds for marine finfish and shellfish hatcheries nationwide. He emphasized that hatchery seed production is an important constraint in the farming of food fishes and ornamental fishes. As live feeds like copepods are essential for larval survival and can be used for feeding diverse type of fish larvae. Dr Abhilaksh Likhi appreciated CMFRI’s efforts in developing stock cultures of many important species. ICAR-CMFRI, Vizhinjam Centre has the largest stock of live feed that can act as a central source of live feeds for enhancing the productivity of fish and shellfish hatchery operations and the efficiency of fish seed production in the country.
The Secretary had interactions with farmers, sagarmitras and enquired about their status and patiently listened to their grievances. As Secretary, DoF is committed to collaborating with ICAR-CMFRI to support such impactful initiatives for bolstering the income and livelihood of coastal communities and promoting research and development in the fisheries sector.
Director, CMFRI, Dr A. Gopalakrishnan and the Principal Scientist & Head, ICAR-CMFRl, Regional Centre Vizhinjam, Dr. B. Santhosh presented the status of activities to the Union Secretary. Post his visits, the Secretary, DoF (GoI) addressed farmers, scientists, staff, officials and media personnel at the ICAR-CMFRI, Vizhinjam Regional Centre. The Centre is seriously considering the development of seed production and farming of bivalves- mussels, edible oysters and pearl oysters in the country’s coastal waters.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by Pib.