Indian Council of Agricultural Research


ICAR-CMFRI organises first National Symposium on Indian Oil sardine

ICAR-CMFRI organises first national symposium on Indian oil sardine

Experts call for collaborative research to develop regular forecasting model on availability of oil sardine

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi organised the first national symposium on Enigmatic Indian Oil Sardine on 6th August 2019 to analyse the reasons behind the fluctuation of oil sardine in the southern Arabian sea. A panel of experts working in the area of climate change, oceanography, fishery biology, fish genetics, fishing technology and socio-economics actively participated in discussions aimed at identifying the factors affecting the Indian oil sardine along the south-west coasts and finding ways and means to address the issues.

The experts suggested developing a forecasting model for long-term prediction on the abundance of Indian oil sardine on regular basis. To develop such model, they also called for a collaborative research initiative partnering different institutions.  The panel held the view that a temporary regulation may be recommended during the period of stressful environmental conditions that affect the abundance of oil sardine.  The fishing pressure during this period would lead to further collapse of the sardine resource, they said.

According to them, the availability of sardine has recorded a drastic drop since the last year, and the situation has not improved yet. The panel meet also proposed that the Minimum Legal Size (MLS) may be raised to 15 cm from the existing 10 cm in Kerala during the periods of stress such as El Nino years. A model for regular forecasting on the fluctuations of oil sardine need to be developed. The fluctuations of sardine are mainly influenced by unfavourable conditions after due to El Nino, stunted growth, spawning disruption, migration from normal fishing grounds and continued high fishing pressure. However, a collaborative research initiative is required to study the environmental impacts and climate change on pelagic fishery resources, the researchers said. 

Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI said the advisory given by the Institute earlier regarding the decline of sardine depending on El Nino intensification was remarkable step in analysing the reasons behind the fluctuation of sardine. ICAR-CMFRI would release a draft sequence of genome of sardine by the end of this year. Even though the CMFRI has found that three types of sardines including Oman sardine have the same genetic structure, separate management strategies are required for these sardines, he said.

Besides the scientists from CMFRI, researchers from National Institute of Oceanography, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Space Applications Centre of ISRO, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and Central Institute of Fisheries Technology presented their findings during the discussion.

Dr E Vivekandan, Dr Prathibha Rohit, Dr EM Abdussamad, Dr P K Dineshkumar, Dr Nimith Kumar, Dr Leela Edwin, Dr Mini Raman and Dr Faseela S P among others spoke during the discussions. The Pelagic Fisheries Division of the CMFRI organised the event.


CMFRI promotes citizen participation for optical mapping of Vembanad lake

CMFRI promotes citizen participation for optical mapping of Vembanad lake

Around 250 students from 16 colleges joined a multi-institutional research project for optical mapping of Vembanad lake on 5th August 2019, as part of a campaign by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) to promote citizen participation in scientific research. The research project aims at understanding the extent of pathogenic vibrio pollution in the Vembanad lake, identifying their reservoirs in the ecosystem, mapping the distribution of vibrio carriers using remote-sensing techniques and developing forecast models that would serve to anticipate hotspots of microbial infection. The study is jointly carried out by the CMFRI, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Nansen Environmental Research Centre-India (NERCI) and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK under the India-UK Water Quality Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

The students started collecting data for the study using Secchi disc, a simple hand-held device to measure turbidity level of water, after undergoing a training at the CMFRI. They were also trained to upload the collected data using a mobile app which was developed as part of the project. The study mainly focuses on mapping the hotspots of vibrio in the lake and developing a forecast model using remote-sensing technology. The students are coming from colleges in Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.

During the launch of the citizen participation initiative, Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI said a massive participation of students in the project would enhance the frequency and spatial extent of data collection, which is a crucial factor in a research initiative especially the study on Vembanad lake. “In addition to being a part of a scientific work of high social relevance, the students get a golden chance to shape their career in science”, he said. CMFRI would ensure the participation of stakeholders such as fishermen, environmental activists, NGOs and residents along the banks of the lake during the next phase of the project, he added.

Dr M S Sunil, philanthropist and winner of Nari Shakthi Puraskar inaugurated the programme. Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI presided over the meet. Dr P K Dineshkumar, Scientist in Charge of the Kochi Regional Centre of NIO, Dr Ajith Joseph, Director of NERCI, Dr T V Sathianandan, Principal Scientist and Head of FRAD, CMFRI and Dr Grinson George, Senior Scientist, CMFRI spoke on the occasion.


Winter School on Mariculture Technologies: Principles and Practices to augment the seafood production in India

Winter School on Mariculture Technologies: Principles and Practices to augment the seafood production in India

Mandapam Regional Centre of CMFRI

06 - 26 November 2019

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ICAR - Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute bags Rajarshi Tandon Rajbhasha Puraskar

ICAR - Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute bags Rajarshi Tandon Rajbhasha Puraskar

ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi bagged Rajarshi Tandon Award (Ist Position) instituted by the ICAR, New Delhi for the excellent implementation of Official Language Policy among the Institutes situated in ‘C’ Region for the year 2017-2018. Institute is getting the Award for the 10th time. Dr.A.Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI and Smt. E.K.Uma, Chief Technical Officer (Hindi) jointly received this prestigious Award from Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General of ICAR on the occasion of ICAR Foundation Day Celebration held on 16th July, 2019 at NASC Complex, New Delhi. 

One day training programme on REVIVAL Citizen Science


VENUE: Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI) auditorium

DATE: 05.08.2019 

9.30 am - 10.00 am


10.00am - 11.15 am


Welcome: Dr. T V Sathianandan, Head, FRAD, CMFRI, Kochi

Presidential address: Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI, Kochi

Chief guest: Dr. M. S. Sunil, Philanthropist, Winner of Nari Shakthi Puraskar 2017

Felicitations: Dr. Dinesh Kumar, SIC, NIO RC

Dr. Ajith Joseph K, Director, NERCI

Handing over of REVIVAL flood relief funds to Dr. M. S. Sunil

Vote of thanks: Dr. Grinson George, Senior Scientist, CMFRI, Kochi

11.15 am - 11.30 am

Tea break

11.30 am - 12.15 pm

Demonstration of the operation of Foldscope

Dr. Shyam Kumar, Assistant Professor, Maharajas College, Ernakulam

12.15 pm - 01.15 pm

Overview of the REVIVAL project – Dr. Anas Abdulaziz,

Senior Scientist, National Institute of Oceanography, Kochi

Followed by the demonstration of the operation of Secchi disc

-Jithin, Syam, Pranav, Manu

1.15 pm – 2.00 pm

Lunch break

2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Field visit and Training

4.00 pm -4.15 pm

Tea break

4.15 pm -4.45 pm

Feed back and interaction

National Anthem


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Mandapam Regional Centre launches NFDB-funded sea cage farming programme

Mandapam Regional Centre launches NFDB-funded sea cage farming programme 

Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) launched the sea cage farming programme funded by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) under the blue revolution scheme. The programme entitled ‘extensive demonstration of technology of open-sea cage farming of marine finfishes all along the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay’ envisages setting up of 100 HDPE sea cages with 60% NFDB subsidy and 40% beneficiary’s contribution. In the first phase of the programme, a total of 20 sea cages and 900 cobia fish seeds per cage were distributed to the beneficiaries on 27th July 2019. 

Shri. K. Veera Raghava Rao I.A.S., collector of Ramanathapuram district distributed the cages. He lauded the efforts taken by ICAR-CMFRI, Mandapam in promoting the sea cage farming in Palk Bay & Gulf of Mannar as a viable alternate livelihood option. Comdt. M. Venkatesan, Commanding officer, Indian Coast Guard Station, Mandapam was the Guest of the Honour. Shri.K. Muralidharan, Member, Institute Management Committee ICAR-CMFRI, delivered the felicitation address. Dr. R. Jayakumar, Scientist-in-Charge, briefed the outline of the project. Dr. M. Sakthivel, Senior Scientist delivered the welcome address and Dr. G. Tamilmani, Senior Scientist proposed the vote of thanks. The fishermen community thanked CMFRI, Mandapam for encouraging them through such programmes. Dr. G. Tamilmani, Senior Scientist and Dr. Johnson, B., Scientist coordinated the programme. 

ICAR-CMFRI hosts FAO global expert meeting on shark trade

ICAR-CMFRI hosts FAO global expert meeting on shark trade

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) hosted a four-day global expert meeting on shark use and trade in association with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations during 24th to 27th July 2019. The international meet was part of a collaborative research project between FAO and ICAR-CMFRI. The event, which was aimed at bringing together researchers in the spectrum to describe various methodologies being evolved and adopted in monitoring of sharks and rays, stressed the need for mapping the value chain of these species to manage and optimise the long term value of this commercial renewable resource, for the benefit of both, the stakeholders and the environment.

The expert meeting, which is the first of its kind in India, was attended by representatives from FAO in Rome, Italy and experts from UK, UAE, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Somalia, Myanmar and Namibia. In a bid to address knowledge gaps in the fundamental information needed for management of existing shark and ray fishery across the globe, the meeting came up with a solid frame work that will be used to publish well-informed guidelines, that all countries could use to improve data collection and mapping of value chains to promote sustainable fishing and trade of this vulnerable marine resource group.