World Brackishwater Aquaculture Conference-BRAQCON 2019



Finfish Culture Division (FCD) is contributing towards sustainable Brackishwater aquaculture development through its research, innovation and technology dissemination in India for the last three decades to uplift the farming community of diverse economic background. This division has scientists specialized in the field of captive fish breeding, larval rearing, live feed production, nursery rearing, pond farming, cage farming, ornamental fish breeding and seed rearing of commercially important brackishwater finfishes. The FCD has State-of-Art hatchery facility with RAS (Recirculatory aquaculture system) at Muttukadu Experimental Station (MES) for year-round seed production of seabass under the Indo-French collaborative project. The presence of seven 100 tonne capacity RCC tanks caters to the captive maintenance of broodstock fishes such as seabass, milkfish, grey mullet and Red snapper. Besides, the backyard earthen pond provides additional facility to maintain the ornamental broodstock fishes such as Spotted Scat, Moonfish, and Pearlspot. In, 1997 a breakthrough in captive breeding and seed production of Asian Seabass was achieved for the first time in the country and the technology has been transferred to Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA) through consultancy in the year 2000. The indoor facility for live feed culture such as microalgae and rotifer assist the year-round fish seed production cycle at MES. Research activities of the division have successfully closed the life cycle of Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), Milkfish (Chanos chanos), Pearlspot (Etroplus suratensis), and Orange chromidae (Etroplus maculatus) in the past years and the technology is available for adoption by stakeholders. A unique, modular breeding system for Pearlspot (Etroplus suratensis) has been designed and standardized for stakeholders to uplift the livelihood status of farmers. The division has demonstrated nursery rearing, pre-grow out, and grow out culture of Asian seabass in different coastal states with the funding support of NFDB. Need-based training are being organized to impart technology of seed production, larval rearing of candidate finfish species to different stakeholders such as farmers, hatchery operators, technicians, academicians and entrepreneurs. Presently, new research activities on maturity induction and reproductive assessment of Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus), Red Snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculates), and ornamental fish blue damsel (Pomacentrus caeruleus) are being carried out. The division envisages achieving diversification of candidate brackishwater finfish species to strive sustainability of brackishwater farming sector while augmenting the income of stakeholders.


  • Comprehensive technology package for Asian Seabass seed production under controlled conditions
  • Domestication of Asian Seabass to F3 generation
  • Techniques for year round breeding of Asian Seabass under controlled conditions
  • Techniques for spawning domesticated stock of Asian Seabass in low salinity (18 ppt)
  • Viable technology for Seabass farming with formulated feed in pond culture system
  • Technology for nursery rearing of seabass adoptable by individuals / entrepreneurs / Self Help Groups
  • Viable Grey, Mullet Mugil cephalus broodstock development under captive conditions
  • Technique for acelerating maturation of captive stock
  • Breeding of Grey Mullet using captive broodstock
  • Development of captive broodstock of Milk Fish (Chanos chanos) and maturation under captive conditions Development of Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) broodstock in tanks and ponds and maturation of males in the tanks.
harvest 3
(a) Broodstock management, controlled breeding and seed production:

Asian seabass - Lates calcarifer 
  • Technology for captive land based broodstock of Asian seabass (150 nos.) of F1 and F2 generations has been standardized and maintained in the broodstock holding facilities.
  • Technology package for natural and hormone induced captive maturation and breeding were developed
  • Year round breeding (outside the natural spawning season) with environmental manipulation has been achieved.
  • Effective fertilization (up to 90%) and hatching up to 95% have been achieved.
  • Seed production technology was transferred through trainings and demonstrations to State department officials, entrepreneurs and hatchery operators.
  • CIBA hatchery produced hatchlings were supplied to commercial hatcheries like M/s. Periyar Integrated Fish Farm, Chennai, and using the technology of CIBA, the hatchery operator achieved survival rate of 58% for 30 days rearing.
  • Knowledge of captive maturation and controlled breeding of Asian seabass was imparted to entrepreneurs and academicians through Winter School of 21 days duration.
  • Larval rearing protocols of Asian seabass standardized and survival rate up to 50% for 30 days rearing was achieved.
  • Technology for year round maintenance and intensive culture of essential live feeds like rotifer and algae developed.
  • Seeds supplied to farmers, entrepreneurs, state departments and universities for the development of Asian seabass aquaculture

Grey mullet Mugil cephalus 

  • Protocols for land based captive broodstock management of Mugil cephalus standardized
  • About 130 nos. of broodstock in the size range of 0.75 – 1.5 kg were maintained in the holding facilities
  • Successful maturation of captive male broodstock was achieved through hormonal intervention.
  • The hormonal dose for controlled breeding through was standardized.
  • One successful spawning of grey mullet took place and larvae were reared to juveniles.

Broodstock development of other brackishwater fishes 

  • Broodstock of milk fish Chanos chanos has been developed from 2004 and 4+ years old stock are maintained (32 nos.) in the holding facilities. For the first time in India, male maturation of milk fish with oozing milt was observed in the captive broodstock.
  • Captive stock of ornamental fishes Scatophagus argus and moon fish, Monodactylus argentius were maintained in the broodstock holding facilities for controlled breeding trials.
  • Andaman Tilapia Oreochromis urolepis brought from Andaman islands has been developed as broodstock
  • NAIP Project for breeding and seed production of Cobia Rachycentron canadum has been taken up with CIBA as a consortium partner, and broodstock is being developed.

Ornamental fish

(b) Nursery rearing and culture

  • Nursery rearing of seabass fry of 1.0 cm stocked in varying densities of 200 to 2000 no./m3 and fed with formulated diet registered  survival rate of 43 to 78% in nursery tanks, 81-90% in hapas and 23-74% in hatchery tanks.
  • Grow-out culture of seabass was undertaken in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal under varying densities and encouraging results were noticed.
  • Pond culture of seabass as polyculture with carps was successfully demonstrated to a farmer in Ganapavaram, Bhimavaranm, Andhra Pradesh with seabass production of 3.12 t/ha and 1.43 t of carp.
  • Demonstration of seabass culture has been taken up in the East Kolkata wetland ecosystem with initial stocking density of 36000/ha. The stock is maintained for growth studies under nursery rearing system and will be stocked in other ponds for grow out culture under extensive farming system.
  • To demonstrate the techno economic viability of Asian seabass farming in pond culture ecosystem NFDB funded Demonstration Project has been taken up in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
  • A comparative evaluation of tilapia from Andaman Oreochromis urolepis and that from the mainland Oreochromis mossambicus showed that the performance of O. urolepis was superior in seawater condition.
  • Culture of pearlspot Etroplus suratensis and milk fish C. chanos have been taken up at KRC ponds and in farmer’s pond. Cage culture of peralspot is in progress at Nagayalanka in Andhra Pradesh.

Technology developed

  • A comprehensive, viable seed production technology under controlled conditions adoptable by entrepreneurs/hatchery operators for Asian Seabass Lates calcarifer including broodstock maintenance, captive
  • maturation, induced and spontaneous spawning, larval & nursery rearing.
  • Technology for captive maturation and spawning through hormonal and environmental manipulation.
  • Technology for year round breeding of Asian seabass under controlled conditions.
  • Economically viable technology for Asian seabass fry rearing in tanks.
  • Spawning of Asian seabass in low saline condition (18 ppt) of domesticated stock
  • Year round maintenance and culture of important live feeds like Rotifer and Algae
  • Development of captive land based broodstock of Grey Mullet Mugil cephalus
  • Maturation of captive stock of Grey Mullet through hormonal intervention
  • Successful breeding of captive stock and larval rearing of Grey Mullet.
  • Land based broodstock of Milk Fish Chanos chanos standardized and maturation of male under captive conditions (4+ yearls old stock)
  • Protocol for maintenance of brackishwater Ornamental Fish broodstock.
  • Captive maturation and spawning of Scatophagus argus
  • Protocols for maintenance of Cobia (Rachycentran canadum) broodstock in land based holding tanks and ponds and maturation of male in the tanks
  • Protocols for captive breeding of Pearlspot Etroplus suratensis in RCC tanks.
  • Viable technology for Nursery rearing of Asian seabass in hatchery tanks
  • Viable technology for nursery rearing of Asian seabass fry to stock sized seed /juveniles in open waters and culture ponds / in net Hapas which can be adopted by entrepreneurs/individuals/Self Help Groups.
  • Technology for rearing of Grey Mullet fingerlings to stock size in earthen ponds using formulated feed and fertilizers.
  • Grow out culture of Asian seabass using formulated feed developed by CIBA

Dr. Dr.M.Kailasam
Principal Scientist & SIC, FCD
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Phone: +91 - 044-24618817 Ext-405



Scientific staff list

Dr. M. Makesh, Principal Scientist.

Dr. Satyanarayan Sethi, Senior Scientist

Dr. Gouranga Biswas, Scientist

Dr.Ms. Krishna Sukumaran, Scientist

Dr.Prem Kumar,Scientist

Ms. Babita, Scientist

Shri Aritra Bera, Scientist

Smt M.U. Rekha, Scientist

Shri Tanveer Hussain, Scientist

Shri Dani Thomas, Scientist

Shri Pankaj Amrut Patil, Scientist

Shri T. Sivaramakrishnan, Scientist


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