KOCHI: The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) on Wednesday launched a project to start 500 cage fish farming units in the state. Supported by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) in Hyderabad, the project aims to provide subsidy and technical support to farmers for carrying out cage fish farming in coastal districts. Around 40 per cent of the total expenses will be provided as subsidy to farmers who can carry out farming individually or in groups. Women and those from SC/ST categories will get 60 per cent subsidy.
The project was formally launched at Nettoor in Ernakulam by stocking fingerlings of sea bass and pearl spot in four cages. The Sree Bhadra Kudumbashree unit, comprising 10 members, is carrying out the farming at Nettoor.
In all, CMFRI will implement 1,000 cage fish farming units in Kerala and Karnataka with financial support from NFDB, CMFRI director Dr A Gopalakrishnan said during the project launch. “The programme aims at improving the livelihood of fishermen, besides ensuring the availability of quality and fresh fish across the state,” he said. “Cage fish farming units will be set up in coastal areas in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Kollam, Kannur, Malappuram and Kozhikode in the coming days.
Species such as sea bass, pearl spot, cobia, pompano and red snapper will be selected for the farming accordingly,” he said. Maradu municipality chairperson Sunila Sibi inaugurated the event. CMFRI’s Mariculture division head Imelda Joseph and ward councillor Ajitha Kumar also spoke. The CMFRI team selected farmers for the project from the applications received, after reviewing the spot and various conditions of the water sources.
CMFRI will provide training in cage fish farming to fishermen who have registered with the Kerala Fishermen’s Welfare Fund Board. Hundred fishermen will be trained in two batches from September 24 to 29 at CMFRI. For registration, contact the CMFRI Mariculture division on: 0484-2394867.