Ever thought how Bhetki of Bengal, Narimineen of Kerala and Tamil Nadu’s Koduva fish commonly known as the Asian Seabass is breeded? Yes, researchers of ICAR’s Central Institute of Brakishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) have been long working on the problems that the species face while farm production.
The species which is mostly found in southeast Asia and Australia is an extremely popular edible fish in various parts of coastal India. Normally a Seabass caught in the sea weighs somewhere between 1-5 kg and those in the farm weighs approximately between 0.5-1.6 kg in a culture period that ranges anywhere between 6-10 months.
It is not easy to produce a marine fish in captivity due to difficulties of controlling the abiotic factors like salinity, temperature and hormonal levels. These difficulties were overcome in 1997 by CIBA by standardising the conditions for broodstock development and breeding Seabass in a controlled environment. This has helped the farmers in producing the fish in their farms.
The issue of differential body weight was addressed by selective breeding prgramme to ensure superior progeny whcih involves ncreased growth rate and resistance to disease. Asian Seabass is the first marine fish in India whose genetic map has been prepared.