ICAR-CMFRI throws open wonders of marine life for public
A large number of people turned up to watch the wonders of marine life as the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) opened its doors for students and public to mark its 73rd Foundation Day on 4th February 2020 at its Headquarters in Kochi and various Regional Research Centres. The Open House programme evoked a huge response from the public to enjoy the ringside view of marine wonders and to learn the latest developments in marine research. Nearly 4000 people visited the Headquarters of the Institute located in Kochi, to watch in awe the splendours of aquatic organisms in the sea and to interact with the scientists.
The huge crowd who came to see the wonders of marine world was awestruck by rare collection of marine aquatic life showcased at National Marine Biodiversity Museum, marine research aquarium and various laboratories. The museum showcased a collection of marine species such as sea hares, flying squid, horse shoe crab, sea snakes, sea birds, pearl oyster, sea cow, sharks, penguin, dolphin, etc. The ICAR-CMFRI museum is the national designated registry of marine species which has a collection of around 3000 marine specimens.
ICAR-CMFRI also arranged a display of pelagic, demersal, molluscan and crustacean fishery resources such as flying fish, horse fish, rare species of sharks and rays, giant tiger shrimp and giant-sized crabs on the occasion. Marine research aquarium showcasing rare ornamental varieties and the exhibition of pearls, pearl oysters, squid jigs, different varieties of mangroves, seaweeds, etc. also drew the attention of visitors. Models of cage fish farming, aquaponics, ornamental fish farming, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) etc. were demonstrated to the public. An awareness session, that gave insight into marine pollution and the impact of plastic pollution on fish ecosystem, was also held at the exhibition. An exhibition-cum-sale of photographs on sea birds captured by ICAR-CMFRI Technical Assistant and bird enthusiast Aju K Raju was also held as part of the programme. The visitors also interacted with the scientists and engaged in discussions on the issues and challenges being faced by the marine fishery of the country. Laboratories related to molecular biology, bioprospecting, cell culture, fishery biology, environmental research, climate change, ocean acidification etc. also were opened to the public during the programme.
Earrings made up of fish otoliths drew attention of large number of people at the exhibition. A huge rush felt to have a close look on the ornaments in different size and design made up of otoliths. Though majority of the fish have otoliths, only that of around ten species are suitable for making ornaments.
Madras RC of CMFRI
The 73rd Foundation Day of CMFRI was celebrated at Madras Research Centre of CMFRI, Chennai on 05.02.2020. The celebrations began with an inauguration of the ‘Open House’. The Scientist-in-Charge welcomed the Chief Guest and the students and teachers of St. Antony’s School, Santhome, Chennai who also graced the occasion. The Chief Guest inaugurated the function by lighting the traditional lamp and addressed the gathering by highlighting the service rendered by CMFRI over 7 decades and his association with CMFRI. The Chief Guest also released two publications brought out by the Madras RC “Oyster farming” and “Green mussel farming” on this occasion. As a green initiative of Madras RC of CMFRI, Chennai samplings (Gooseberry and Guava) were also handed over to two of school students to plant in their school premises. The students were then given a brief history and background of CMFRI and the achievements over 7 decades through a video and based on which a quiz was conducted and prizes given away to the students by the Scientist-in-Charge. Booklets on eminent Scientists/ personalities were also distributed to the students. The students were then given an exposure to all the laboratories, the biology lab where different species of fish/ shell fish were displayed and explained by the Scientists/ Technical staff. The fishery environment, marine biotechnology (Tissue Culture), biodiversity and mariculture activities were also displayed and explained. Marine and freshwater ornamental fish/ shell fish species displayed in the aquariums, and museum were major attractions to the students. A digital display of the research activities of Madras Research Centre was highly appreciated.
Mandapam RC of CMFRI
The 73rd foundation day was celebrated at Mandapam Regional centre of ICARCMFRI on 3rd February 2020. ‘Open House’ was inaugurated by Dr. R. Jayakumar, Principal Scientist & Scientist-in-Charge in the presence of school & college students. More than 2,000 students from the schools, colleges and general public of Ramanathapuram district visited the aquarium and museum. Scientists and technical staff of Mariculture, Pelagic, Demersal, Crustacean, Marine Biodiversiy, Fisheries Environment & Management and Socio-Economic Evaluation & Technology Transfer Division exhibited and explained the visitors about the research activities taken up by the respective divisions for the benefit of fisher folk. Awareness on marine resource conservation, biodiversity issues and mariculture activities were also given to the students through video shows.
In continuation of the celebrations, a motivation and career guidance programme was organised on 4th February for school students. More than 225 students representing Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mandapam, Raja Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kunjaravalasai, Vedalai, Government Higher Secondary School, Mandapam Camp, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Mandapam participated the programme. Comdt. M. Venkatesan, Commanding Officer, Indian Coast Guard Station, Mandapam was the chief guest and he motivated the students by sharing his own experience from family and profession. He gave practical tips for solving problems and developing soft skills. He also stressed the importance of communication skills.
Hands on Training Programme on Oyster Farming for Scheduled Caste members
Aimed for uplifting the living standards of the Scheduled Caste members, the ICAR- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR- CMFRI) extended scientific, technical and financial support in Oyster farming for 40 Scheduled Caste families in Kodungallur Municipality in Pullut Village, Thrissur. The initiative was a part of CMFRI’s project for popularising the less expensive farming method among the Scheduled Caste members across the coastal states under the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) Project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Govt. of India. This is the first venture in Oyster farming in this area.
Hands on Training Programme on Oyster farming for Scheduled Caste members in Pullut area was inaugurated by Kodungallur Municipal Chairman, Shri. K.R. Jaithran on 30th November 2019. The training programme was presided over by Municipal Councillor, Shri. O. N. Jayadevan. The Opposition leader of Kodungallur Municipality, Shri. V. G. Unnikrishnan was the Chief Guest of the function. Dr. K. Sunil Mohamed, Principal Scientist & Head, Molluscan Fisheries Division, CMFRI was the Lead Speaker and Dr. K. Madhu, Principal Scientist, Mariculture Division, CMFRI & Chairman, SCSP felicitated the function. The training was organized under the leadership of Dr. Vidya. R, Scientist, Molluscan Fisheries Division, and team.
ICAR-CMFRI has conducted this Hands on Training Programme to Scheduled Caste members for equipping them to set up Oyster farming units (racks of 5m x 5m) in brackishwater ecosystem. The training included guidance on site selection for the farming, season of farming, Ren making, farm construction, farm management and various aspects of harvesting, apart from hands-on training on Oyster ren making. The experience of other SHG members who are successful in Oyster farming with the technical support of CMFRI were also shared.