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Farming of brackishwater finfishes in customized cages suitable for sallow estuaries, creeks, backwaters and lagoons is an emerging innovative and viable technology for fish production. It is win-win strategy to efficiently utilize the water resources for fish production and creating alternative livelihoods, employment creation and income for the coastal fishers as envisaged by the Govt. of India.

In this direction, the Navsari-Gujarat Research Centre (NGRC) of ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture has demonstrated the cage farming of Asian seabass fish (Lates calcarifer), and Pearlspot (Etroplus suretensis) in creeks and ponds with a financial support of Department of Fisheries, Government of Gujarat. NGRC-CIBA mobilized the fisher youths from the villages as self-help groups (SHG), provided training, seed, feed and cage culture inputs.

To exhibit the technology and create awareness among the potential fish farmers, a harvest cum interaction meet was organized at the farming site at Shil, Mangrol, Gujarat on 26th June, 2023. About 180 fishermen including, shrimp farmers and fisherwomen of Mangrol and Porbander taluka participated in the event and witnessed the harvest. About 200 kg (350-500 g) of seabass and 20 kg (100-150 g) of pearlspot was partially harvested and sold to local trader at Rs. 450 and Rs. 300 per kg respectively. Around Rs. 96,000 was realized as income by Shil SHG through this partial harvest. An interaction meeting on brackishwater cage farming was also organized during the occasion wherein the scientists, fisheries department officials and the Self-Help Group members on the cage culture technology and upscaling of the same in other suitable areas.

Shri. Parshottambhai Khorav, President of Fishermen Community, Mangrol, Gujarat, Shri. V.K. Ghohel, Assistant Director of Fisheries (ADF), Veraval and Mrs. Sangita Bhadadiya, ADF, Jamnagar participated on behalf of the fisheries department appreciated CIBA for the technology demonstration. Shri. Pankaj A. Patil, Scientist-In-Charge, NGRC-CIBA, Navsari, highlighted that brackishwater cage farming is a viable technology for providing alternative livelihoods to coastal fisher families. The demonstration and programme was coordinated by the staff of NGRC-CIBA, Navsari, Gujara.

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