Indian Council of Agricultural Research


ICAR-CMFRI guides Lakshadweep Administration to launch large-scale farming of indigenous seaweeds

ICAR-CMFRI guides Lakshadweep Administration to launch large-scale farming of indigenous seaweeds

A massive demonstration farming of seaweed was launched in nine inhabited islands of Lakshadweep with the technical support of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). After fisheries, coconut and tourism, the Lakshadweep administration has prioritised seaweed farming as the next major development driver of the islands. The large-scale initiative is in line with a ICAR-CMFRI study that revealed immense potential for production of quality seaweeds in serene and pollution free lagoons of Lakshadweep for high-end utilisation like the pharmaceuticals, food and nutraceuticals. The indigenous red algae, Gracilaria edulis and Acanthophora spicifera are the species being farmed in nearly 2500 bamboo rafts benefitting 100 families belonging to 10 women self-help groups in different islands. Known for its unique tuna fisheries and myriads of beautiful corals, reef fishes and other creatures, now the marine sphere of the islands are more likely to be known as the seaweed farming hub of India soon.


Led by coordinated efforts of various Departments of the administration such as Fisheries, Environment & Forests and Rural Development as well as the ICAR-CMFRI, the demonstration focuses on popularisation of seaweed farming in the islands, capacity building of stakeholders and pre-feasibility and impact assessment of seaweed farming for a planned development of seaweed farming enterprise in the islands. Under the programme launched on 21st August 2021, so far nearly 400 rafts seeded with G edulis seed strains grown in the islands by the ICAR-CMFRI as well as the seed sourced from Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu have been deployed. Additional units to reach the target of 2500 rafts are being added as the seed materials are developed in subsequent farming cycles of 45 days.

Recent studies by the ICAR-CMFRI revealed an unprecedented growth performance of indigenous seaweed species in various lagoons of Lakshadweep with nearly 60-folds growth in 45 days for the species Gracilaria edulis. Followed by the early success story, the Lakshadweep Administration joined hands with the ICAR-CMFRI for multi-locational trial farming and capacity building of stakeholders. Thus, experimental-scale trial farming was conducted in the islands of Kiltan, Chetlah, Kadmath, Agatti and Kavaratti during 2020-21 with promising results.

Production of seaweeds worth Rs. 75 cr per year
The studies revealed that the island territory has a potential of producing nearly 30,000tons of dry seaweed per year worth Rs 75 cr by farming only 1% (200ha) of its 21,290 ha of lagoon area (inhabited islands only) at the rate of a modest 150 ton per hectare.

Climate Smart
The sea being the major sink of carbon and the seaweeds well known for its carbon sequestration properties, the farming of seaweed at such a scale would sequester nearly 6500t carbon dioxide per day adding a huge carbon credit to the nation while providing a climate resilient livelihood to the islanders.  

Providing a sound scientific basis for a sustainable seaweed farming enterprise, the ICAR-CMFRI and the Lakshadweep Krishi Vigyan Kendra functioning under the Institute is at further studies for assessing the carrying capacity of the lagoons, spatial mapping of suitable farming sites, standardising farming methods for year-round farming in deeper areas and means to ensure quality seeding materials of indigenous seaweed species jointly with the Lakshadweep Administration, said Dr K Mohammed Koya, Scientist, ICAR-CMFRI, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Lakshadweep.



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.


Name of ICAR-CMFRI appearing in the ICAR Foundation Day Award Ceremony Presentation on 16 July 2020

Malayalam translation of PUTTING FARMERS FIRST released by Government of India

Dr. Kajal Chakraborty, Principal Scientist, Marine Biotechnology Division of ICAR- CMFRI wins the coveted ICAR Norman Borlaug Award for the year 2020

Dr. Kajal Chakraborty, Principal Scientist, Marine Biotechnology Division of ICAR- CMFRI wins the coveted ICAR Norman Borlaug Award for the year 2020.