Indian Council of Agricultural Research


Honorable Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu dedicates newly bred Johns snapper seeds to the nation

Honorable Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu dedicates newly bred Johns snapper seeds to the nation


In a function held at the premises of Visakhapatnam Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI), the Honorable Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu garu formally released the Johns snapper seed production technology and dedicated the snapper seeds to the nation. As a customary gesture, the Honorable Vice President handed over the snapper seeds to two progressive fish farmers hailing from the region at noon on 7th December, 2020 in the presence of jubilant farmers and dignitaries such as Shri Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao garu, Honorable Minister for Tourism, Culture and Youth Affairs, Govt of Andhra Pradesh; Shri Vinay Chand, Collector and District Magistrate, Visakhapatnam, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI and Shri K. Muraleedharan, Institute Management Committee member ICAR-CMFRI.


Addressing the scientific fraternity, the Honorable Vice President of India lauded the commendable effort put in by ICAR-CMFRI in developing the marine capture fisheries and mariculture of the country. Appreciating the efforts put in and the scientific inputs emanating from this institute contributing to sustainable development of marine fisheries in the country,  He said that marine cage farming and availability of quality seeds round-the year of commercially important finfishes are two path-breaking achievements of ICAR-CMFRI that has provided the much needed impetus for mariculture development in the country. He further stated that snapper seed production and subsequent mariculture in cages would fulfil the domestic demand of marine finfish as the cheap and best source of animal protein. Being a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, snapper consumption will improve the general well-being of the countrys vast population, and its farming would be lucrative for fish farmers. He emphasized that the existing gap prevalent in the country between demand and supply can only be bridged by marine cage farming and there is a need to further diversify the species mix.


Employment Generation

With expansion of marine cage farming, huge increment in employment generation is expected, as for every tonne of fish produced, three people are employed either directly (farming) or indirectly (hatcheries, feed mills, marketing and other associated activities). He also lauded ICAR-CMFRI for playing a pivotal role in framing both the drafts of National Mariculture Policy 2019 and the National Fisheries Policy 2020, which are in the final stages of preparation. Developing Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture involving finfishes, shellfishes and seaweeds is a prime achievement of the institute and he appreciated Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI for the same.



A prioritized list of mariculture species was prepared by ICAR-CMFRI and Johns snapper was accorded top priority. Snappers are in high demand globally and are much sought after in India with farm-gate price of this fish is Rs 400/kg. It is an excellent species for mariculture owing to its fast growth rate, efficient feed conversions, fantastic meat quality and superior consumer preference. Johns snapper seeds globally have only been produced in Singapore with limited success. Keeping this in view, ICAR-CMFRI at Visakhapatnam Regional Centre started developing broodstock a year and a half back. The fishes matured and were induced to spawn in the beginning of this year. Thereafter, continuous seed production has been achieved. This is the first instance in the country that snapper seeds have been produced. With production of snapper seeds on a consistent basis, Indian mariculture is poised for a new surge with exponential increase in maricultured finfish production.


During the last decade and a half, the marine fish landings in India have been fluctuating between 3 and 4 million tonnes. With limited scope for increasing the production from capture, equal emphasis has been put on mariculture. Among the various mariculture technologies available globally, marine cage farming is the most promising. Marine cage farming in the country started in 2005 and the first successful harvest was here, at Visakhapatnam in 2007, wherein 3 tonnes of seabass was harvested from one cage. Cage culture, subsequently expanded to all maritime states and the number of cages increased. However, cage farming failed to reach its true potential, because of non-availability of quality seeds. Keeping this in view, ICAR-CMFRI started developing brood stock and seeds were produced in large numbers for cobia and silver pompano at Mandapam, Tamil Nadu and grouper and Indian pompano at Visakhapatnam. Additionally, two national brood bank facilities were established at Vizhinjam, Kerala and Mandapam, Tamil Nadu. Over the past half a decade, consistent seed production was achieved and the seeds were supplied to fish farmers and the industry as a whole. Dependence on a few species, when embracing mariculture in a big way has its own perils, and it was felt that species diversification is the need for the hour.


ICAR-CMFRI, the premier fisheries institute under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is actively engaged in research on marine capture fisheries and mariculture. The institutes multidisciplinary approach to research in marine capture and culture fisheries has won it recognition as a premier institute comparable to any well-stablished marine laboratory in the world. The increasing contribution of marine fisheries to the GDP growth are supported by the robust research efforts of the institute and its impact on fisher folk, fish farmers, fisheries policy planners and managers. The institute was honoured with the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award two times during 2019 and 2007 for its commendable scientific contributions to the fisheries sector.

The present success has been the outcome of a Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India funded project entitled “Developing a new candidate species for mariculture; marine finfish John’s snapper, Lutjanus johnii (BT/PR32023/AAQ/3/944/2019)”. ICAR-CMFRI expressed gratitude to the DBT for financing the project.


CMFRI adjudged as best research institute under ICAR

CMFRI adjudged as best research institute under ICAR

CMFRI wins ICAR’s highest award

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has been adjudged as the best research institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The CMFRI won the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR institutions award, the highest award of the ICAR in the category of the large institutions with a cash prize of Rs 10 Lakhs, a Silver Plaque, Certificate and Citation.This is in recognition of CMFRI’s excellent performance in marine fisheries research during the period from 2014 to 2019.


This is the second time CMFRI bagging this prestigious award. Various cutting edge research activities including development of mariculture technologies such as open sea cage fish farming, seaweed farming, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) and breeding and seed production technologies for marine food fish and ornamental fishes which were aimed to enhance the income of fishermen helped CMFRI achieving the highest ranking among more than 110 agricultural and allied research institutes in the country. CMFRI’s efforts on preparing a range of policy guidelines, including the works on minimum legal size (MLS), National Policy on Mariculture and ecosystem-based management towards the sustainable utilization of marine fisheries resources were well appreciated. Its research initiatives in developing nutraceutical products from marine organisms to treat type 2 diabetes, arthritis, obesity, thyroid and hypertension also played a major role in winning the award. In addition, the institute exhibited leadership in winning several externally funded research projects such as National Brood bank for Cobia and Silver pompano and a Centre of Excellence and Innovation  funded by the DBT. The institute also obtained many patents during the period.