The facility will be run by the Central Institute for Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) in collaboration with Kerala’s Fisheries Department, following the signing of an MoU between CIBA and the Agency for Development of Aquaculture (ADAK) of the Government of Kerala.
According to the MoU, CIBA will provide scientific and technical support to the government for developing captive breeding and seed production technology of these three commercially important brackish water fishes. The hatchery will target continuous seed production of these species.
In addition to producing juvenile fish, the partnership between CIBA and the state government also aims to support human resources development through regular hands-on training programmes.
Dr KK Vijayan, director of CIBA, described the partnership as a “game-changer” in the state’s brackish water aquaculture sector, and he estimates that 1.26 lakh hectares could be used for these purposes if juveniles can be produced with sufficient regularity.
Tinku Biswal, secretary to the Department of Fisheries and chairman of the executive committee of ADAK, said the proposed hatchery will help to boost the sustainable brackishwater fish production in the state as it addresses the critical issue being faced by the fish farmers.
Dr M Kailasam, principal scientist and head of the fish culture division of CIBA, said fish species such as seabass, milkfish and pearlspot are ideal for farming in Kerala, considering the resilient nature of the species to changing salinities and their market demand in the state. Dr Dinesan Cheruvat, executive director of ADAK expressed the hope that the agency could build up more technology partnerships in the areas such as hatcheries, indigenous feeds, aquatic animal health and stock improvement.