The ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata in collaboration with the ICAR-Research Complex for North-Eastern Hills Region, Umiam initiated the cage culture in the Umiam Reservoir located in the Ri-Bhoi District of Meghalaya as an option for providing the livelihood support to the tribal fishers under the Tribal Sub Plan Programme. Around 50 local fishers belonging to the Ri-Bhoi Farmers’ Union (under the leadership of Shri D. Mazzao, President of the Union and Shri Brightstar K., Secretary) were also involved in the initiative.
A battery of six CIFRI-GI Cage® with an area of 100 m3 per cage (6x4x4 m3 per cage) was installed in the Reservoir with the total cage water volume of 540 m3 (90m3/ cage).
The Fingerlings of minor carp, kuhri/ Labeo gonius (average length 12.01 cm and average weight 18.31g), Amur common carp (11.09 cm, 20.4g) and Koi carp (10.88cm, 19.8g) were stocked in the cages on September 24, 2019 through a fish seed stocking programme. The Fisheries Division of the ICAR-Research Centre for NEH Region provided the fish fingerlings. The fishes were fed twice daily with the ICAR-CIFRI-CAGEGROW® floating feed @3-5% of their body weight. The ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati and ICAR-Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam regularly monitored the growth and water quality, whereas, the local cage farmers carried out the daily feeding.
After the five months of rearing, the maximum individual weight of L. gonius, Amur carp and Koi carp were recorded as 217 g, 660 g and 665 g, respectively (average weight 93.1 g, 339.5 g and 258.4 g). The highest survival was observed in Amur carp (80%) followed by Koi carp and L. gonius and no disease incidence was observed. The Amur carp was found to be the most suitable candidate for cage culture in the reservoir in terms of survival and growth. The final harvests of the cages directly benefited the participating cage farmers. Encouraged by the success of the maiden cage culture trial, the participating cage farmers deposited a part of the income from the cage culture in the bank account of the society (Umniuh Khwan Welfare Fund) at State Bank of India, ICAR Complex Branch, Umiam for continuing the cage culture activity.
(Source: ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata)