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ICAR-Central Institute of Brackish water Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA) conducted an awareness cum demonstration programme on brackish water seaweed farming in Annamalaicheri village, Pulicat Lake, Tamil Nadu on 10.06.2023, with the funding support of National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Govt. of India, Hyderabad (under the PMMSY). This program was organized in collaboration with M/S Pinnacle Biosciences and the Department of Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu. More than 100 coastal farm families participated in the program. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar Lal, Director, ICAR-CIBA launched the seaweed rafts of Gracilaria salicornia for farming in the Pulicat Lake. Subsequently, a farmers meeting was held in the village. In his presidential note, the director informed that 10 village clusters will be identified for the pilot scale demonstration under this initiative and explained the role of seaweeds as a nutrient-rich resource, their importance in sustainable development and a prospective future. Dr. P. Nila Rekha, Principal Scientist and team leader briefed about the importance of brackishwater seaweeds and their potential for coastal fisherfolk livelihood development. Dr. K. Ambasankar, Principal Scientist explained the uses of seaweed as a potential ingredient for shrimp and fish feed preparation. Dr. R. Jayakumar detailed the farming methodology developed by ICAR-CIBA to be adopted in the demonstration programme.

Dr. Gowtham Thirumalai, of M/s. Pinnacle Biosciences explained the details of the industrial requirement and the scope for the buyback of farmed seaweed from the farmers. He also stated their initiative on Global Federation of Seaweed Farmers in the programme.  Dr. B. Shanthi,  Dr. T. Senthil Murugan and Dr. T. Bhuvaneswari, Scientists of ICAR-CIBA informed the farmers about the significance of seaweed farming as an additional revenue generation activity and encouraged the coastal women to take up seaweed farming. Mr. Gangadharan, Assistant Director, Department of Fisheries, Govt. of Tamil Nadu and Mr. Selvaraju, Inspector Fisheries, Govt. of Tamil Nadu also participated in the programme and expressed the prospects of seaweed farming in Pulicat Lake. Mr. Arumugam, President of Fishermen Association, Annamalaicheri village conveyed the happiness and the willingness of the villagers for taking up seaweed farming.

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