Genetically improved tilapia aquaculture ideal 'GIFT' for Nagapattinam fish farmers: ICAR-KVK

Places where the Cauvery or rainwater recharges the ponds in the district are best suitable for GIFT culture as it is a freshwater fish, he added.

Published: 23rd September 2022 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2022 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

ICAR-KVK experts and fish farmers displaying genetically improved tilapia at a farm pond in Nagapattinam district | Express

Express News Service

NAGAPATTINAM: At a time when inland aquaculture is finding its feet in the district that is otherwise largely dependent on marine fishing, ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Sikkal is adding impetus to the former by promoting genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT) among fish farmers. Experts say the fish variety when bred can grow fast and yield farmers profit in a shorter period.

"Genetically improved farmed tilapia are those type of tilapia fish which are bred selectively and improved in its characteristics such as faster growth, disease resistance, and tolerance to a wide range of water quality parameters, " said Dr A Gopalakannan, ICAR-KVK programme coordinator.

Places where the Cauvery or rainwater recharges the ponds in the district are best suitable for GIFT culture as it is a freshwater fish, he added. As the fish is cultured for meat, experts say that GIFT chosen for breeding is all-male. It is appropriate to culture only males and keep females as broodstock, they added, advising farmers to procure only male fishlings from hatcheries. They also advise culturing them in a closed farm environment like a farm pond or a fish pond than in natural environment like a village pond.

"Farm environment is better suited for GIF tilapia as there are chances of them mating with the in the event of females around. Culturing the males in a farm pond will help them direct their energy--otherwise meant for mating--towards increasing physical growth,” said E Hino Fernando, an expert on fisheries extension, which deals with advising on farming practices for increased fish production and income.

>From the time they are procured from hatcheries and introduced into ponds, the fish achieve maturity in roughly about four months. They can be sold for meat in the fifth month onwards. A fisheries department official pointed to State government schemes such as the multipurpose farm pond scheme where farmers can get up to Rs 15,000 to set up farm ponds to rear such fish. A Pazhaniappan, a fish farmer from Naluvedapathy in Thalaignayiru block said, "I can harvest GIF tilapia fish twice a year and fetch a profitable price during sale. I get double the profit by selling during the annual fishing ban."


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