KOCHI: The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is planning to launch cage fish farming, in an effort to tap the potential of farming in tourism.
As the first step, the agency will set up a large ‘cage farm’ on the land owned by it at Rameswaram in West Kochi. The farm will be set up in specially designed cages, in which around 30,000 sea bass (kaalanchy)fingerlings will be cultivated. The fingerlings will be released into the farm after 70-80 days, when they attain a weigh of 50 gm each. Currently, they are kept in separate tanks in a hatchery at Andhakaranazhy.
According to GCDA officials, the fingerlings are fed with top quality fish feed. Sea bass was selected for farming as the breed does not go far away from the water body that they get acquainted with.
The harvesting is done when the fish attains the weight of one kg, after nearly six-seven months.
The agency, which expects to produce nearly 25,000 kg of fish in the first harvest, is also planning to launch an Eco-Farming Project, using Eco-Farm Cages, at Rameswaram at an estimated cost of `5.5 crore. The project will be implemented on the five-acre land the agency owns at Rameswaram near the Pandarachira canal. If the cage farming programme turns out to be successful, it would be extended to the ‘pokkali’ fields in the nearby area.“In order to facilitate cage farming, waste from the water bodies should be removed and the depth should be increased. Bamboo will be planted around the water body,” said Venugopal said.