Kovalam Experimental Station (KES) of ICAR-CIBA, which spreads on 64 acres of land in the Muttukadu backwaters, was recently (22nd May 2021) inaugurated by Dr. J. K. Jena, DDG, Fisheries, ICAR, in the presence of Chief Guest Shri. J. Jayakanthan, IAS, Commissioner of Fisheries, Tamil Nadu. This newly acquired land is being converted into a brackishwater farming facility for experimentations and demonstrating farming with diversified brackishwater species. During the inaugural event, the new experimental ponds were stocked with fishes, shrimps and crabs.
One of the ponds stocked with juvenile seabass fish reached a market size and was harvested on 28th Aug, 2021, as a maiden fish harvest from this new farming facility. Seabass farmed using formulated feed produced by CIBA (SeebassPlus ) and its maiden harvest from a pond based system was witnessed by the group of farmers. Naturally, Seabass is a highly carnivorous fish that fetches premium price in the domestic and international market for its culinary values.
In this farming effort, 300 advanced seabass fingerlings (60-90 g) were stocked in a 1000 m2 size pond and reared using the SeebassPlus (a cost-effective indigenous feed developed by the CIBA). After 115 days, 121 kg of uniform size fishes (550 to 650 g each) were harvested with survival and FCR 57.6% and 1.2, respectively. The fishes were marketed locally for a price of Rs.400/ kg. The interesting observations in this farming demonstration is, in a short period, clean and healthy seabass could be reared to a market size of > 600 g, completely on formulated feed with the lowest FCR. This short-term seabass grow-out model (< 4 months) can be promoted for crop rotation with shrimp farming to avoid the repeated disease outbreaks.
The entire farming demonstration and harvest were coordinated by Dr. S. Kannappan, Principal Scientist & OIC, KES and Dr. S. Sivagnanam, Chief Technical Officer, CIBA.