Indian Council of Agricultural Research


Successful breeding and larval rearing of Marcias anthias at Vizhinjam RC of CMFRI

Successful breeding and larval rearing of Marcias anthias at Vizhinjam RC of CMFRI.

Marcias anthias with vibrant pink shade belonging to subfamily Anthiinae (family: Serranidae) is a highly sought after marine ornamental fish. Successful captive brood stock development, spawning, and larval rearing are achieved at Vizhinjam Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI.  Brood stock was developed in a 5-ton recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) using 12 wild caught juveniles. Eggs were of size 650 µ, They hatched out after an incubation period of about 12-14 hours at a water temperature of 29 ℃. By 35th day they reached the juvenile stage. 

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Indian Mariculturists Meet at CMFRI

Indian Mariculturists Meet at CMFRI

Marking the 37 years of mariculture education, research and development in the country, eminent scientists, policy makers, research managers, academicians, industrialists, bankers and administrators who finished their academic programmes in mariculture at the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) met at the Headquarters of the institute in Kochi on 8th and 9th April 2017.

Around 200 experts from across the country including Dr J. K. Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of ICAR, Dr C Vasudevappa, Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences in Shivamogga, Padma Bhushan Prof. M V Pylee, renewned educationist and former Vice Chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology, Dr E G Silas, former Director of ICAR-CMFRI, Dr K K Vijayan, Director of ICAR-CIBA and Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI along with 50 industrialists in marine fisheries and aquaculture attended the meet.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr J K Jena urged the industrialists to invest money in mariculture in order to increase the fish production in the country. Referring to the present crisis in capture fishery, he asked the industrialists in the sector to come forward and concentrate on mariculture apart from taking up entrepreneurial initiatives in shrimp farming.

The alumni of mariculture batches of post graduate and doctoral programmes at the ICAR-CMFRI is a major force in the development of India’s marine fisheries and aquaculture sectors, actively involving in the policy frameworks, research, administration and entrepreneurial initiatives.  Based on the FAO-UNDP guidelines and funding, the P.G. and Ph. D. programmes in mariculture were started at the ICAR-CMFRI in 1979 with the affiliation of Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). In 1993, the programmes were shifted to the Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai.

Dr P S B R James, former Director of ICAR-CMFRI, Dr Vedavyasa Rao, Dr A Noble, Dr P Jayasankar, Dr Suresh Kumar and P Surendran spoke on the occasion.


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Cage aquaculture becoming a hit in Kerala under CMFRI’s guidance

Cage aquaculture becoming a hit in Kerala under CMFRI’s guidance

The coastal aquaculture in Kerala is set to get a major boost, as the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi is popularising the cage fish farming model among the farming and non-farming communities across the State. The less expensive farming model is increasingly becoming a hit among the Keralites, helping to increase the aquaculture production.   The Mariculture Division of ICAR-CMFRI provided technical capacity enhancement training to 50 people from seven districts in the State on how to launch cage farming commercially important fish varieties suitable to the Kerala waters at the Headquarters in Kochi during 16th and 17th March.

The training was part of a continuous process the institute has been providing to those interested in the less expensive farming model under the All India Network Project on Mariculture (AINP-M) across the country. In Kerala, the ICAR-CMFRI provided technical support to those interested in the cage culture to equip them launch the farming by giving guidance on areas such as cage fabrication and installation, site identification, seed selection, feed management and trading. The training is aimed at helping the people to become successful entrepreneurs in cage fish farming. 

Impact of Training

Soon after the training, the participants launched the cage farming of fish varieties such as pearl spot, seabass, red snapper, tilapia and giant trevally in the brackish and fresh water bodies in their respective regions. It is noteworthy that by 31st March 2017, around 40 farmers turned into cage farming venture, laying a solid base for ushering in ‘fish revolution’ in the State.

Cost effective technology

According to ICAR-CMFRI’s technology, cages made of GI pipes with a dimension of 4m X 4m X 3m (length, breadth and depth and a volume of 48 cubic metre) is suitable for farming in Kerala waters. The depth of the cage may vary depending on the depth of the water body.  Seabass and pearl spot could be cultured in same cage simultaneously. Around ₹ one lakh is adequate for installing the cage and stocking seeds of seabass and pearl spot in a cage, in addition to the fresh feed cost which requires another ₹ 60,000 for a cage.  About  1000 numbers each seabass and pearl spot seeds could be stocked in a cage of this size.  After six months, seabass is expected to attain weight of 700 g to 1.2 kg and pearl spot 200 to 250 g depending on the stocking size of the seeds (about 50 g). An average 700 kg of seabass and 250 kg of pearl spot could be harvested from one cage itself within six to seven months of culture with a survival rate of 90 per cent. The farmer will get around ₹  650 for a kilo of seabass and ₹ 550 for pearl spot in market.

CMFRI Opens New Regional Research Centre in West Bengal

CMFRI Opens New Regional Research Centre in West Bengal

  • Centre to offer research for development of marine fisheries of Bengal and Odisha 
  • Conservation and sustainable harvest of Hilsa fish prime focus

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has opened a new regional research centre in Digha, West Bengal with an aim to fulfil the research and development needs for the marine fisheries in West Bengal and Odisha. This is the 11th regional research centre of the CMFRI, the largest fisheries research institute in the country under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

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Research on Hilsa

The centre will primarily focus on assessing the important commercial marine fish stocks of the West Bengal including Hilsa, a popular fish variety in the region. At a time when the availability of Hilsa is showing a drastic decline in recent years, the CMFRI centre will focus on research activities for the conservation and sustainable harvest of the fish species developing effective resource management practices.

The centre will provide advisories to the Bengal and Odisha governments on the optimum number of fishing vessels and the option for management of fish stocks in the State by way of regulations.  Regular monitoring of marine landings and assessment of fish stocks will be carried out under the centre to help the State in managing the marine fish resources of the region ultimately benefitting the fishermen. The mariculture technologies of commercially important fishes developed by the CMFRI will be popularised and promoted in the State in tune with environmental and geographical aspects of the region.

Dr J K Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of ICAR, who was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony, said the new research centre in Digha is aimed at catering to the need of marine fisheries research of the State and generating livelihood for the coastal fisher folk. “Though sporadic research has been carried out on the marine capture fisheries and mariculture in West Bengal and parts of Odisha, a focussed approach is lacking. It is with this intention the ICAR-CMFRI has opened a new research Centre in the State”, he said.  “CMFRI has been developing fisheries management plans for each maritime state. The management policy guidelines are being designed in such a way that helps in scientific management of marine fisheries for each state”, he said.

 Estimates on potential yield, optimum fleet size and optimal combination of engine power and craft size will also be major contributions from the Centre to the State. Climate change issues affecting coastal habitats and fisheries could more efficiently be addressed by the new Centre. 

The Digha Centre will also conduct capacity building and awareness programmes on conservation and management of fish resources to improve the livelihood of the fishermen community.

The other 10 Regional Research Centres of CMFRI are located in Mandapam, Chennai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Tuticorin, Visakhapatnam, Calicut, Karwar, Vizhinjam and Veraval.

Training programme

A training programme on marine cage culture was conducted at the Centre in collaboration with the West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences. A total of 54 fish farmers and fishermen from various associations of East Midnapur district participated in the training programme. The engineering and economic aspects of cage farming operations such as cage design and fabrication, operations and the policies for the farming were educated among the participants.

ICAR-CMFRI develops GIS-based database on fishing centres in India

ICAR-CMFRI develops GIS-based database on fishing centres in India
Database handed over to Indian Navy to ensure security of fishermen at sea

In a major development in ensuring security at the sea, the ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed a GIS-based database about the marine fish landing centres along the Indian coast. Aimed at ensuring the safety and security of the fishermen at sea, the ICAR-CMFRI prepared the inventory of all the fish landing centres in the country, describing their GIS (Geographic Information System) location, types of fishing activity, seasonality of fishing and the extend of fishing operations from each fishing centres. The institute handed over the database to the Indian Navy in order to make the security measures in coastal regions easier.

Dr. A.Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI handed over the document to Vice Admiral  A R Karve AVSM, Flag officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command in a meeting held at the office of the Southern Naval Command, Kochi.

The database is expected to be a major development towards ensuring safety and security of fishermen and monitoring intrusion into Indian territorial waters from neighbouring countries. Details of traditional landing centres and modern fishing harbours have been included in the database, which was prepared by a group of scientists from the ICAR-CMFRI, upon the request from the office of the Southern Naval Command, Kochi as part of strengthening efforts in ensuring the safety of fishermen at sea.

Dr A P Dineshbabu, Principal Scientist at the Mangalore Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI coordinated a research team comprised of 22 scientists and 85 other staff to prepare the inventory. The information about the landing centres and operational area of fishing will be useful in efficient marine spatial planning of various activities in the sea by protecting the security and livelihood concerns of the fisher folk along Indian coast. This document forms a part of an exhaustive collection of database documented by ICAR-CMFRI, for bringing all fishing activities and fishery resource information of Indian coast in GIS format. 

The team collected information on 1,278 landing centres along the Indian coast spanning all maritime States (Gujarat, 129; Maharashtra, 149; Goa,34; Karnataka, 93; Kerala, 201; Tamil Nadu, 359; Andhra Pradesh, 204; Orissa,54 and West Bengal,55).

The database, providing an in-depth information base regarding fishing activities along Indian coast will help for marine spatial planning in any development activities in the coastal region without impacting the livelihood issues of the coastal population.  

According to Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI, the institute has a special interest in GIS based documentation of the marine fish landing centres since they are the reference points for mapping marine fisheries resources along the coast and such mapping will serve as the basic data for the fisheries conservation and management.

The geo-tags of marine fish landing centres is also crucial work in facilitating national security. Fishermen can be considered as soldiers in the sea because they are constantly moving in and out of the sea scouting for fish at the same time observing some unscrupulous activities if any. The document with the spatial tags of fish landing centres developed by ICAR-CMFRI will help the Navy, the Coast Guard and other security agencies in the disaster management as well.

CMFRI handing over the database to Indian Navy 

Ernakulam KVK Promoting Startups in Aquaculture

Ernakulam KVK Promoting Startups in Aquaculture

The capacity enhancement training by the Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of ICAR-CMFRI is all set to provide technical support to the youngsters to become entrepreneurs in aquaculture.

The month-long training course titled Aquaculture Technician is in the final stage to impart skill development training on various stages of the farming practices to the selected 20 interested youngsters in aquaculture. 

The skill development course, which was started on 27 in February with the support of the National Skill Development Corporation under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, is aimed at developing farming and entrepreneurial skills among the youth for promoting startups in the diversified aquaculture. The area of training includes different farming practices such as cage fish farming, fresh water and brackishwater farming, mussel farming, shrimp farming, crab farming, lobster farming and oyster farming etc.  In addition, training on water quality tests, disease surveillance, feed formulation, live feed culture, hatchery management, seed production of pearl spot (karimeen), value addition, aquarium keeping, packing methods, fish marketing and entrepreneurship was also included in the course curriculum.

The participants are being enriched with practical lessons through field visits, interaction with farmers, cage fabrication, pond preparation and instrument operation etc besides the technical classes led by experts from CMFRI, CIFT, MPEDA, CUSAT and KUFOS.  

After the successful completion of the course on March 25, the participants will be permitted to work as individual consultants to cater to the needs of aqua-farmers with the support of KVK.  After the training, an aqua-task force of skilled youngsters will be formulated to help the farmers and ensure qualitative standards of aquaculture.  KVK has already got a Kadamakkudy Matsya Krishi Karma Sena (aqua-task force) in Pizhala, which is functioning in a similar way under the young farmer Theruviparambil Sreekumar with the support of KVK.

The skill development training will give a big boost to the fish and shrimp farming. The technical course will help in empowering the youngsters to become entrepreneurs in aquaculture at a time when the capture fishery is passing through a stagnation period. The programme will definitely open the prospects of startups in aqua-farming sector too. The long -term objective of conducting this one-month course is to create employment opportunities in the field of aqua farming. The participants were selected from the applications received for the entrance to the course.   

Dr Shinoj Subramannian, Head of KVK and Dr. P A Vikas, Subject Matter Specialist in Fisheries are coordinating the training programme. The participants will be given certificates issued by the National Skill Development Corporation after the completion of the course, enabling them to become the government recognised aqua-consultants. 

The training programme is implemented through the selected KVKs in the country. Ernakulam KVK is among the two selected KVKs in Kerala, Malappuram being the other. The programme is a part of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), a unique initiative by the Government of India that aims to offer 24 lakh Indian youth meaningful, industry relevant, skill based training. PMKVY was envisaged as a key measure to impart skills-based training to the youth, making them capable of earning and supporting the country’s anti-poverty endeavours.

Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi Appreciates ICAR-CMFRI’s Mobile App technology for Fishermen

Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi Appreciates ICAR-CMFRI’s Mobile App technology for Fishermen

Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi has appreciated the mobile advisory service, mKRISHI®Fisheries, developed by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

In his Mann Ki Baat address on February 26, 2017,  the Prime Minister termed the technology as innovation for poor fishermen and went on to say that the mobile App is simple but with a powerful impact on fishermen community. He further said the mobile App could be utilised by the fishermen for moving to those areas with maximum fish presence in a very short time and thus earning their livelihood.

“When a fisherman goes to sea, the App is able to provide guidance to direction to locate the most productive fishing zones and also provide multifarious types of information such as the direction and speed of the wind, the height of the waves and so on”, the Prime Minister said.

mKRISHI®Fisheries App provides information on Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) generated by INCOIS, sea surface temperature, weather and the presence of phytoplankton which form the food of several fish species based on the remote sensing data received from NOAA and Indian satellites.

The app consolidates these information and presents advisories in local languages, with easy to use icons on Java and Android mobile phones. In addition, the app, which is a result of multi-dimensional research and field work of experts from the ICAR-CMFRI, INCOIS and TCS, was adjudged among the 20 best Social Innovations in the country by the Ministry of External Affairs and NITI Ayog.

The technology had won a place in the prestigious National Contest on Social Innovation 2016 hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs along with NITI Ayog. The app was listed among the 20 top social innovations selected from a total of 774 applications.  The ICAR-CMFRI has already piloted this service in 56 fishermen societies in Maharashtra.

The App is widely being used among the fishermen to plan their fishing activities. The information on the presence of potential fishing zone has helped fishers reduce unnecessary trips and the associated cost of diesel, ice and labour. Fishermen are advised to go only when the information map on the app is blue in colour.  The app will predict five days upfront forecast which will help even trawlers who go for multi-day fishing trips.  

Lack of data signal availability in deep sea was a major challenge for the fishermen. However, TCS and Tata Teleservices conducted a pilot to extend the mobile signal upto 30 km in the deep sea in Raigad district of Maharashtra. This helped the fishermen for price negotiation while they were in the sea itself and the fresh catch could be directed to desired port, optimizing the overall transportation.  

The ICAR-CMFRI, in collaboration with TCS, is planning to reach out to more fishermen societies under Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav (MGMG) initiative. 

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Dissemination of seaweed farming technology to progressive marine fishers of Andaman Nicobar Islands by CMFRI

Dissemination of seaweed farming technology to progressive marine fishers of Andaman Nicobar Islands by CMFRI

As a part of exposure-cum-study tour, 13 progressive marine fishers and two field officials, Directorate of Fisheries, Andaman & Nicobar Administration visited Mandapam Regional Centre on 21st February 2017. Earlier, the CMFRI has provided practical training on methods of the seaweed farming practices to the officials of the Department of Fisheries, Andaman during 2- 4, August 2016 at Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI, Mandapam. In continuation of that through this study tour, marine fishers interacted with the scientists about seaweed farming and also had an exposure on making floating rafts with bamboo, tying of seed material (seaweed fragments) in the rope, tying of seeded rope along the length of the bamboo raft and positioning them in the sea. Dr.Johnson,B., Scientist coordinated the activity.



National Training in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology for fisheries professionals

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National Training in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology for fisheries professionals

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ICAR-CMFRI develops anti-obesity medicine from seaweed

ICAR-CMFRI develops anti-obesity medicine from seaweed

In a major advancement in the natural health care industry of the country, the Kochi headquartered ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed an anti-obesity nutraceutical from seaweeds. The product named CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract (CadalminTM ACe) is a natural remedy for obesity and dyslipidemia. ICAR-CMFRI scientists prepared the extract from seaweeds which are commonly available in the Indian coastal waters and are natural bounty of the sea and are known for their extraordinary medicinal properties.

Dr Kajal Chakraborty, Senior Scientist in Marine Biotechnology Division of ICAR-CMFRI, who developed the product said bioactive pharmacophore leads from seaweeds were used to prepare the nutraceutical product. “CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract can be administered to regulate clinical indicators leading to dyslipidemia or obesity, total adipose tissue and visceral fat, triglycerides, cholesterol, both good and bad, known as HDL and LDL. The product contains 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from selected seaweeds by a patented technology, and would be made available in 400 mg capsules”, he said.


CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic, an anti-obesity nutraceutical product developed by ICAR-CMFRI

“The nutraceutical does not have any side effects as established by detailed preclinical trials. CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract is the only product made by 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from seaweeds as a natural remedy of obesity and dyslipidemia, as far as our knowledge goes” Dr Chakraborty added.

Dr P Vijayagopal, Head, Marine Biotechnology Division said that the active ingredients in the product would be packed in plant-based capsules to meet the dietary needs of the large vegetarian population in India and abroad. “CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract has a promising consumer appeal, and market potential especially for the large vegetarian population in India and abroad”, he added.

“Large scale extraction of the active principles from the raw material was optimized in a factory unit. The total yield of the active principles from the raw material in the factory unit was found to be greater than 20%, which demonstrated the commercial feasibility of the nutraceutical product. The product is being out-licensed to a pharmaceutical company”, he said.

4th Nutraceutical Product from ICAR-CMFRI

CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract is the fourth in the series of the nutraceutical products developed by the ICAR-CMFRI. Two anti-arthritic and one anti-diabetic nutraceutical products are the other three products developed by the institute in the past.  All these technologies have been commercialized through pharmaceutical companies.

According to Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR- CMFRI the institute is in the process of developing more health products from the underutilized seaweeds. “The ICAR-CMFRI is also in the process of standardizing and promoting seaweed farming all along the Indian coasts as a livelihood option for the coastal communities. This is expected to compensate for the dip in income for the fishermen during lean seasons”, Dr Gopalakrishnan said.


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