The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) is all set to implement a Rs. 15 crore worth project to help the fish farmers to launch 500 cage farming units in Kerala. The farmers will be offered subsidy and technical support carry out the cage culture under the scheme, which is funded by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad. According to the programme, 40% of the total expense will be given as subsidy to the farmers who can conduct farming individually or in groups. Women and those from the SC/ST category will get 60% subsidy. The programme will be implemented in coastal districts of the state. Species that would be considered for sea cage culture are seabass, Pearl spot, Cobia, Pompano and Red snapper. The Square cages have a measurement of 4m*4m with 3m depth.

The farmers from the coastal districts can now register at the Mariculture Division of CMFRI to become the part of the scheme and avail the subsidy. The applicants should be capable of carrying out the farming in water resources that are at least three meter depth during low tide. Approval will be given only after the CMFRI team scientifically reviews the site.

The project also plants to set up three Aqua One Labs in the state to help the farmers for the smooth operation of the cage farming. The Lab will provide services such as water quality check, sediment analuysis, seed transportation, disease management, etc. 50% of the total cost will be given as subsidy to those eligible to set up the Aqua One Labs. Details of the requirements for setting up the Lab are available in the CMFRI Website ( Subsidy will also be provided for a small scale fish feed mill.

The project is a major effort by CMFRI to boost the fish production in Kerala, besides improving the living standards of the coastal community. This initiative is also expected to ensure availability of quality and fresh fish across the state, through this initiative.

Source: Aquaculture Spectrum

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