Fish farmers in Malampuzha set to reap rich ‘GIFT’ of cage culture
Malampuzha: The fisheries department and the fisherfolk here are all set to reap a rich harvest from cage culture with an intention to supply pure freshwater fish to the consumers. Cage culture is an aquaculture system in which fish are kept in floating net cages. At present, about 72 cages have been set up in the middle of the lake in Malampuzha.
About 75,000 GIFT (Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia) fish are cultured in 15 cages on an experimental basis. These fish attain full growth within 210 days. The juvenile fish kept in the cages are 90 days old. The harvest begins after four months. The fish will be sold through the sales point here.
The project is jointly implemented by State Fisheries Department, State Fisheries Resource Management Society (FIRMA) and Malampuzha Fishermen Society using the central government fund.
The cages floating in the water surface are fixed using anchors. Each cage is 6 m long, 4 m wide and 5 m deep. The juvenile fish were brought from Vallarpadam. The fish are fed with a fish feed ‘Growfin’ supplied by a government approved company.
A boat functioning with solar power also is used on a trial basis to bring materials to the cage culture location. Since the people of five panchayats and Palakkad municipality depend on the lake for drinking water, a water test is conducted once in a week.