Rupsa: Low pressure triggered rainfall and the subsequent flood has played spoilsport for cage fish farming near the Bahabalapur fish landing centre under Sadar block in Balasore district, a report said.
Incessant rainfall coupled with the flood muddied the sea water and increased its salinity, following which the fisheries department harvested the fish within a period of 40 days, much before the designated period of three months. However, this has not deterred the department or the fishermen as they plan to cultivate more fish in 22 cages after a month.
The department had cultivated around 5.5 quintal of pompano fish fingerlings in cage fishing method but got only 16 quintal due to premature harvest. The fish after their harvest were auctioned at Rs 127 per kg.
Reports said that cage fish farming involves this newer method of growing fish in existing water resources by means of an enclosed net or cage which allows free flow of water. It is an aquaculture production system made up of a floating frame, net materials and mooring system.
Fish farming in marine cages is providing a ray of light for many fishermen who are reeling under dwindling catches coupled with the rising operational cost of vessels and environmental degradation. Fishermen are getting attracted to cage aquaculture because of the huge profit margin in the cultivation.
The cage aquaculture had been taken up in the area by National Fisheries Development Board and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). The project was inaugurated at Bahabalapur by Pratap Chandra Sarangi, former Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, January 10.
The project was taken up as a pilot project and the former Union minister launched the project by releasing 1600 Indian Pompano fingerlings weighing 50 grams each in eight cages, August 7. The fish are allowed to grow for a period of three months and then harvested.
However, the fishes were harvested much earlier after the incessant rainfall and flood played spoilsport.
Subhadip Ghosh, Gyanaranjan Das, Biswajit Das from CMFRI and Manas Sinha from NFDB, marine fisheries officer Nalinikanta Das, fishermen and fish traders were present during the harvest.