Cage Culture takes Off

Cage Culture of fish has taken wing, drawing into its fold the tribal fishermen and homemakers looking to augment their family income.

At least 224 Tribal Fishermen Families are engaged in Cage Culture Unit at Harbhangi Reservoir, which has provided alternative employment and livelihood support, said Bijaya Ketan Upadhyay, Director Fisheries.  
Dr.Upadhyay said though Cage Culture in Odisha is in infant stage, but current crop of fish farmers are scaling up the operations, which has commercial potential.
Harabhangi Reservoir, having 480 Hectare located at Dumiguda village in Mohana block of Gajapati district has been leased out to Harabhangi Adivasi Primary Fishermen Co-operative Society (PFCS).
PFCS is allowed lease under Odisha State Reservoir Fishery Policy 2004. Due to continuous stocking of fingerling and prawn seed with financial assistance from NFDB and ST & SC Development Department assistance, said Dr.Upadhyay.
From this Unit at least 36.32 Metric Ton(MT) of fish & 10.85 MT of prawn has been produced during 2014-15 to 2017-18.

For ensuring the additional fish production from reservoir and ensuring livelihood of tribal fishermen during lean season, Cage culture was taken up during 2013-14 in Harabhangi reservoir with 94 lakh under NMPS program.

The 24 grow out cages were stocked with 96,000  Pangassius fish seed.
The Pangassius seed of 5-6gm size were procured from Kolkota trader and provided with floating pellet fish feed.
At least 45.52 MT of Pangassius fish has been produced from these cages during last 3 years i.e.2014-15 to 2016-17.
Cage Culture technique was introduced by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in 2007 and several Institutions have taken up this innovative exercise.
This Fish Farming method involves mooring cages of specified sizes in waters and releasing fingerlings into them to grow within the confines of the cages but in their natural environment.

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