MPEDA comes to aid production of Kerala's most popular fish
Kochi: Production of one of Kerala's most popular fish varieties, the Karimeen (Pearl Spot), on Friday got a huge boost with the Marine Products Export Development Authority developing facilities for its commercial scale breeding and seed production.
The facility at the Multispecies Aquaculture Complex at Vallarpadam here will offer a lucrative alternative to fish farmers to grow it round the year.
In 2010, the Kerala government had declared 'Karimeen' as the 'State Fish' to protect it from over-exploitation.
Karimeen has always been much in demand fish, especially among the foreign tourists, and the most popular tourist destination at Kumarakom is known for its availability from the Vemband lake.
It shot into global prominence after then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spent his Christmas holidays at Kumarakom two decades back.
At Kumarakom, a kilogram of Karimeen costs Rs 600 and upwards.
MPEDA Chairman K.S. Srinivas, while inaugurating the sale of first batch of Karimeen seed produced from MAC, said the commercial production would enable farmers to get good quality seeds throughout the year and enhance the production of the fish in the state.
"The production of Karimeen should be substantially boosted in order to make it a candidate species for export. Nowadays, the farmers are mainly depending on wild caught seeds for culture. Too much dependency on the seeds from the wild will lead to over-exploitation. To overcome this, MPEDA has developed facilities for commercial-scale breeding and seed production at MAC," he said.