KOCHI: A national workshop on conservation of native freshwater fishes has urged the State Government to set up small scale hatcheries in inland regions to popularise the aquaculture practices of the species that have been listed under the endangered category.
The two-day workshop was organised by Prof Alikunhi Chair at Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies.
The workshop also called upon the farming community to utilise the breeding technology of the fresh water fishes and actively involve in the farming activities towards conserving the species. ‘’Boosting of farming practices of the local fish varieties would help to conserve the species, experts observed.
“The native freshwater species such as snake heads and cat fishes have higher commercial value compared to the usual farming varieties like Catla and Rohu. In order to promote the farming practices of these species, small scale regional hatcheries should be set up in inland areas”, the workshop proposed.
Experts also pointed out that Kudumabashree units could develop small scale entrepreneurship by effectively utilising the farming technologies of the species. Indigenous traditional knowledge regarding the breeding techniques of the local fishes should be preserved.
Farmers who spoke at the workshop said the farming and breeding technologies should be available at an affordable cost so that farming would be promoted.
The farmers also demanded practical-oriented, regional training programmes to understand the technology.
P H Anwar Ali, principal Investigator of the Prof Alikunhi Chair Chair at Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, said low cost breeding techniques would be developed to popularise the farming of native fishes.
“Existing technologies will be modified as farmer-friendly. Regional training programmes will be conducted in next phase, under the aegis of the Chair, exclusively for fish farmers”, he said.
Saroj K Swain, S K Sahoo and Rajesh Kumar of Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), N Basavaraja from Manglore University, Eapen Jacob from Kerala University and K Altaff from New College, Chennai led discussions at the workshop.