NAGAPATTINAM: In an attempt to promote polyculture method, experts from ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra incorporated murrel fish farming with carp farming, while explaining to farmers the ways to mitigate loss. Dr K Gopalakannan, the coordinator of ICAR-KVK in Sikkal, said,
"Some fish farmers shy away from carp farming due to the expense it incurs, which could mitigated with 10% introduction of murrel fish (viraal meen) to 90% of carp. High returns from murrel carps would make up for the loss incurred during the marketing of freshwater carps post harvest."
Carps are categorised into Indian major carps - catla, rohu and mrigal - and exotic carps, which includes silver, grass and common carp. Of them, catla and silver carp are surface feeders, while rohu and grass carp tot up to column feeders and mrigal and common carp to bottom feeders.
The experts said a pond should constitute 30%, 40% and 30% of surface feeders, column feeders and bottom feeders respectively. They suggested to introduce non-carp fish murrels as the 10% of the bottom feeders, while the remaining 20% could either be mrigal or common carp or both. Hino Fernando, an expert from ICAR-KVK, said,
"Murrels could be introduced into an ecosystem of carp only after they mature to three months. Carnivorous, they may devour young and small carps. Both carps and murrels can be reared together from the fourth month and harvested after ten to twelve months." Seeds of Catla, Rohu and Mrigal carps were distributed to three fish farmers from the villages of Palakurichi, Sembiyanmadevi and Puliyur. D Manivannan, a fish farmer from Puliyur, said, "I am eager to adopt polyculture to reduce feeding expenses."