CHENNAI: Scientists in India are now developing technology to breed cheaper variety of fishes, in a bid to help the fish-eating populace who can’t afford the ones commonly available in the market, given the fact how expensive they are.
The Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) here has succeeded in breeding a certain variety of fish, whose production cost is said to be below `100.
“We have achieved a major breakthrough in artificial breeding and seed production of Milk Fish (Chanos Chanos), locally known as Paal Kendai or Poo Meen, in captivity, for the first time in the country,” says the director of CIBA K K Vijayan.
Interestingly, Milk Fish is not the only fish that can be bred in captivity — scientists have already developed Sea Bass, and plans are on to breed Mullet in the hatcheries at Muttukadu. Breeding of Milk Fish in captivity had been quite a challenging task for aquaculture scientists. “While the milk fish attains natural maturity, breeding and spawning in the open ocean, maintaining brood stock (parent fishes), inducing them to maturity and breeding were technically challenging tasks. These fish were bred through hormonal manipulation by administering standardised dose of permitted hormone,” says Vijayan.
Interestingly, CIBA is planning to target Kerala and West Bengal for the hatchery production of Milk Fish.
Hilsa has been a delicacy in West Bengal, but it costs as high as Rs 1,000.
Scientists say Milk Fish tastes similar to Hilsa and is cheaper and affordable. This could result in a huge demand, they feel.
A survey has already been done in this regard and it was found that the fish is economically viable, 'environment friendly’ and 'socially acceptable'. It could cost around RS 120 to Rs150 in the market, which is quite cheap when compared to other varieties of marine fish.