Though fish, especially the ones procured from the seas are free from the pesticides to a large extent when compared to in the agri products such as vegetables. But latest reports point out that they too are not free from chemicals. Chemical preservatives are applied after they are caught and then transported to the far flung markets. This highlights the need for a secure fish farm for the fish loving Malayalee, very much in the lines of organic vegetable farming. If grow bags are needed for safe vegetable farming, cage fish farming should be promoted for the chemical free catch.
The state is rich in water bodies, these include those which are harmful to the ecosystem. Public ponds, quarries, canals, backwaters and dams are these resources which can be utilised for fish farming. This will in turn help in protection of environment thereby ensuring production of edible fish. However, there is a minor hitch in the whole plan. The depth of these quarries and water bodies though are suitable for the fish, will pose difficulty while harvesting.
Cage fish farming promoted by the Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra provides a solution for this. Many fish such as Karimeen (pearl spot) vaala (Sword Fish) and tilapia can be grown in this manner. However, special feed have to given to the fish. About 300 fishlings can be grown in a cage that has a length of two metre, two metre breadth and 1.5 metre height. The fish thus grown can be easily harvested. Rs 7,500 is be the cost of one cage and it can be used for about five years.
The Ernakulam fish farmers development authority is providing financial assistance for the programme in order to spread cage fish farming, which was developed by Dr P A Vikas, to more places. Hence, one unit, consisting of two cages is available for Rs 5,000.
For more details contact, chief executive officer,Ernakulam fish farmers development authority Ernakulam north (PO).