Breakthrough achieved in milkfish (‘paal kendai’) breeding

Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai has achieved a major breakthrough in artificially breeding the milkfish (Chanos chanos), locally known as ‘Paal Kendai’ or ‘Paal Meen’ in captivity for the first time in the country. Milkfish has the ability to grow in brackishwater, seawater and freshwater ponds and lakes. This fish consumes low protein pellet feed and grows up to 500 g size in 6 months. This is a boon for small and marginal farmers who can grow the fish at a low cost. Milkfish fetches Rs. 120-150/kg in the local market while the production cost is only Rs. 50-60/kg.
In the fish hatchery of the Experimental Research Station of CIBA located at Muttukadu near Chennai, the male and female adult milkfish were reared in cement tanks for more than 10 years. While the milk fish attains natural maturity, breeding and spawning in the open ocean, maintaining the brood stock (parent fishes), inducing them to mature and breed further were technically challenging tasks. These fish were bred by administering calculated doses of permitted hormone. The fertilized eggs obtained were hatched and reared to fingerling stage, which are further suitable for nursery rearing and farming. The CIBA research team, after making tireless efforts, have achieved this for the first time in India.

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