Indian Council of Agricultural Research


ICAR-CMFRIs IMTA practice in Kerala yields bumper harvest of green mussels

ICAR-CMFRI’s IMTA practice in Kerala yields bumper harvest of green mussels

An experimental Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) practice on commercial scale undertaken by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CMFRI) in Kerala has proved to be a great success. The integrated farming, that combined the production of finfishes in cages, green mussels and seaweed, yielded a bumper harvest of green mussels with a better growth rate. 

The IMTA is the practice which combines appropriate proportions of fish, filter feeding bivalves and seaweeds in farming to create balanced systems for environmental and economic stability. 

ICAR-CMFRI started the programme in December 2021 in Moothakunnam in Ernakulam district under participatory mode with fishermen, as part of its research initiative for developing a sustainable cage fish farming model suitable to Kerala’s ecosystem.  With a production of around one tonne of green mussels from 150 strings hung around four fish cages, the IMTA practice, that was experimented first time in Kerala on commercial scale, has proved to be economically feasible and suitable to Kerala’s conditions. The individual mussel grew to an average size of 72g which is the successful growth rate in mussel farming. Despite the harvest was taken place during the COVID lockdown, the entire produce sold out quickly. The fishes inside the cages were found to have attained better growth and are due to harvest by the end of June. The growth of seaweeds being cultivated around the cages also showed healthy progress. 

Dr.  Shoji Joseph, Principal Scientist of ICAR-CMFRI led the research team for the experimental practice of IMTA in Kerala. ICAR-CMFRI has already developed a successful model of IMTA practice on open sea waters of Tamil Nadu.  In addition to the enhanced income through diversified crops from a particular area during the same time period, the IMTA helps maintain environmental sustainability. Excess nutrients and carbon dioxide from the cage farm are directly or indirectly utilized in this system making the practice environment friendly.  

Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI stated that the Institute would take steps to popularize the IMTA practice across the coastal states of the country as in the case of cage fish farming. The popularization of this innovative technology in line with the increasing trend of adoption of cage farming technology will help transform the lives of coastal community.  

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.