Indian Council of Agricultural Research


Success in captive spawning and seed production of Johns snapper at Visakhapatnam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI

Success in captive spawning and seed production of John’s snapper (Lutjanus johnii) at Visakhapatnam Regional Centre of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute


John’s snapper, belonging to the family Lutjanidae, is widely distributed in the Indo-west Pacific, extending from east Africa to Fiji, north to the Ryukyu Islands and south to Australia. In India, the fish is reported from both the west and the east coasts. It inhibits mostly the coral reefs and rocks, deep seas, and occassionally in estuaries. The species has immense potential for mariculture owing to its fast growth rate, easy adaptability to culture conditions, quick acceptance of artificial feed, pleasant appearance, good meat quality and high consumer preference.

In an attempt to diversify mariculture; breeding and seed production of the species was initiated at Visakhapatnam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI with adult fishes collected from the wild using hooks and lines during 2018-19. Also, a project entitled “Developing a New Candidate Species for Mariculture: Marine Finfish John's Snapper, Lutjanus johniiwas submitted to DBT, and was subsequently approved and funded. The present work is a component of the above DBT funded project. Adult fishes of 3-3.5 kg sizes maintained in the offshore cages installed off Visakhapatnam were selected and transported to the hatchery complex. They were subjected to prophylactic treatment for a period of two weeks were then transferred and stocked in 125 t capacity indigenously developed Re-circulating Aquaculture System (RAS). The fishes were acclimatized and were fed upon squid, twice a day till satiation. Gonadal profile of the fishes was assessed routinely using live ovarian biopsy. Once the ova size of females was found to be optimum, females and oozing males were injected with inducing hormone for spawning. Induced fishes responded 42 hours post-induction, and the fertilized eggs obtained were collected using flow-through cum recirculation of tank water. The collected fertilized eggs were treated and stocked in two tonne capacity FRP tanks for incubation and larval rearing. Larvae hatched out after 14 hrs at 28-30 oC. Mouth opened 54 hrs post-hatching. The larval rearing was carried out using green water system with different live feeds such as Nannochloropsis sp., Isochrysis sp., copepod nauplii, rotifers and Artemia nauplii. Larvae were weaned on artificial feed from 20 day post-hatch (DPH). Larvae started metamorphosis from 22 DPH, which was completed by 30th DPH, by this time; the larvae were fully weaned on artificial feed. After 42 days of rearing post-hatch, a survival rate of 3.67% was achieved and the fry have reached an average size of 3.8 cm and 0.62 g. This is the first report of successful broodstock development, induced breeding and seed production of John’s snapper (Lutjanus johnii) under confinement in the country.

John’s snapper, Lutjanus johnii adult

Recent success in seed production of John’s snapper by Visakhapatnam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI has raised a ray of hope for culture of the fish using hatchery produced seeds and will present enormous scope for aquaculture business opportunity in near future for fish farmers through species diversification.

Embryonic development of fertilized eggs of John's snapper

Just hatched out larvae of John's snapper

Larvae of John’s snapper at 16 days post hatching

Metamorphosed fry of John's snapper

Close-up view of metamorphosed fry of John's snapper

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.