The 23rd Research Advisory Committee meeting of ICAR-CIBA was convened on 27th February 2018

ICAR-CIBA convened its 23rd Research Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting on 27th Feb 2018 in the headquarters, Chennai under the chairmanship of Dr K. Gopakumar, former DDG, Fisheries. Distinguished members of RAC, viz. Dr V.V. Sugunan, former ADG, Dr. K.M. Shankar, former Dean, Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Dr G. Gopakumar, Emeritus Scientist, CMFRI, Dr Aparna Dixit, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Dr S. N. Mohanty, former head, ICAR-CIFA and Dr Pravin Puthra, ADG (Marine Fisheries) reviewed the research activities of CIBA and provided directions for future research.

Dr K.K. Vijayan, the Director, welcomed the RAC team and the scientists. In his presentation, he highlighted the need for aquaculture and significance of brackishwater sector in food production and nutritional security for growing population. He highlighted the significant achievements of CIBA in the last one year in different thematic areas of brackishwater aquaculture. He stressed that brackishwater is the only sector, where the footprint of fish production on potable water is negligible or zero. Director, CIBA informed the committee about the plan of the institute to hold a World Conference on Brackishwater Aquaculture (BRAQCON 2019) in Jan 2019. Chairman and members of the RAC appreciated this effort and opined that this to be the right time to showcase brackishwater aquaculture to the society and its importance to meet the nutritious food demand.

On the previous day, RAC members visited the research facilities at Muttukadu Experimental Station of CIBA, interacted with the scientists on the ongoing research programmes and recorded their appreciation.

Detailed presentations on research achievements of 2017-18 and the proposed programmes for 2017-18 were made by the Heads and In-charges of the divisions. The research findings were discussed in detail with a focus on scientific contributions and its transformation to benefit the stakeholders of brackishwater aquaculture. RAC members appreciated the work on species diversification, biofloc technologies and the initiation of aquaculture in inland areas like Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The members acclaimed on the progress CIBA especially on the successful culture demonstrations and bringing back the indigenous shrimp species P. indicus. RAC members well received the CIBAs efforts on cage farming open brackishwaters and brackishwater ornamental fish. They also congratulated CIBA on the introduction of soil water health card and mobile app to farmers. The members of the RAC expressed their appreciation on the number of MoUs signed by CIBA in areas like farming, feed and hatchery technology and setting up of labs. Futuristic focus on genomics and bioinformatics were much lauded.

Chairman in his concluding remarks advised standardisation of milkfish seed production and continuation of efforts to breed grey mullet. He also stressed optimization of cost-effective seabass feed on par with the imported international feed brands. Members suggested focussing on increasing the visibility and presence of CIBA in the sector on a national level. They also suggested developing more practical therapeutics based on preventive approaches through the research work on aquatic animal health. They also stressed to concentrate on commercialisation of various technologies developed by CIBA and focused research on what exactly the sector needs with a futuristic vision. More emphasis was given on research areas such as cost-effective technologies on feed and seed production.

Earlier in a small event arranged by ITMU-CIBA, a start-up entrepreneur, Mr Nishanth Reddy, B.Tech., who did seabass nursery rearing with consultancy and training support of CIBA handed over a cheque worth of Rs.2.5 lakhs to RAC chairman, Dr K. Gopakumar as profit share to CIBA. Chairman and RAC members very much appreciated this effort citing it as burning example of technology transfer.

The meeting was over with the vote of thanks proposed by the Member Secretary.

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