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Visit of Dr. S Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR at NICRA project site (Jharkhali, Sundarban) of West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences

Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Govt. of India visited the NICRA project site at Jharkhali (Basanti), Sundarban of West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences on 3rd October, 2013. He was accompanied by Dr. Arvind Kaushal, Additional Secretary, DARE and Secretary, ICAR, Dr. A. K. Sikka, Deputy Director General (NRM), Dr. B. Meenakumari, Deputy Director General (Fishery) and Dr.A. P. Sharma, Director, CIFRI, Barrackpore. Dr. Ayyappan went around the field experimental trial site including the wet laboratory established under NICRA. Dr. R. K. Trivedi, PI of the project explained about the ongoing project activities like effect of saline water flooding on freshwater fishes and post-flooding growth performances, performance of the brackish water fishes in freshwater conditions and different species combination trials being carried at the site, to the visiting team members, with an objective to make the freshwater aquaculture in the Sundarban more resilient.

A fish feed named ‘WBUAFS Fish Feed’, prepared under NICRA project, under trial for use in case of sudden salinity intrusion, was explained to the DG. Dr. Ayyappan released the “Research Highlights 2011-13” of the project. Later, Dr. S. Ayyappan and all the dignitaries visited the demonstration units of the NICRA project at the two fish farmers’ site at Jharkhali village, where Climate Adaptive Integrated Farming (CAIF) is taken up in a participatory mode. The dignitaries appreciated the innovative culture performance of brackishwater fish in freshwater ponds of farmers, especially the growth of Paneaus monodon and Macrobrachium rosenbergii.  The team also reviewed various interventions like land-shaping, agro-horti cultivations on raised pond embankment, paddy cum fish culture etc. Prof. C. S. Chakraborti, Vice Chancellor, Prof. T. J. Abraham, Dean (Fishery), Prof. Amalesh Choudhury, eminent scientist, officials from Sundarban Development Board, Govt. of West Bengal and other project personnel from the University were also present on this occasion. The Director General, ICAR expressed his satisfaction on the progress of project and appreciated the endeavor undertaken by the project team.

Climate-resilient Aquaculture Strategies for Sundarban Islands (WBUAFS)

Natural adaptive capacity of prawns to salinity:

High salinity is an issue in Sundarban islands due to sea water incursion. Growth performance study at various sub-lethal salinities (0, 5, 10, 15, 20 ppt) for one month duration of Macrobrachium rosenbergii (Giant Freshwater Prawn) indicated that the species tend to adapt naturally till 15 ppt salinity but showed significant growth retardation at 20 ppt salinity. Similar trials on Oreochromis mossambicus at various salinities (0, 5, 10, 15, 18 ppt) for one month revealed that the species tend to adapt naturally upto 15 ppt salinity.

Impact of saline water flooding on freshwater species:

Macrobrachium rosenbergii is the most tolerant species and can withstand sudden saline water flooding followed by Channa punctatus, Puntius javanicus, Cyprinus carpio, Puntius sarana, Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala, Ctenopharyngodon idella, Catla catla, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, and Labeo bata. Among the four freshwater species Macrobrachium rosenbergii showed better survival and growth followed by Cyprinus carpio, Labeo rohita and Puntius sarana in post-flooding situation.


Inundation of saline water and performance of brackish water fish in freshwater:

Liza parsia and Scatophagus argus can be adapted well in freshwater and low salinity with no mortality. Under field demonstration (in farmer’s pond), the high value Tiger Prawn (Penaeus monodon) when stocked with Indian Major Carps in freshwater pond, exhibited satisfactory growth and survival. It indicates that some of the brackish water species can also be taken up as candidate species for freshwater aquaculture. This will help in resilient aquaculture against climate change induced saline water inundation in Sundarban islands.

Adaptation strategies against saline stress

2 hrs of aeration

Two hrs of continuous aeration (0.2 kg/m3 pressure with 4 L / m3 / minute volume)at 4hrs interval can be effectively used as an adaptation strategy for salinity upto 5ppt for the freshwater fishes (Cyprinus carpio and Puntius sarana). Inclusion of additives like immune-stimulant (Immutron)/ probiotic (Gut Act)/ prebiotic @ 10ml per kg high energy floating feed (having  30% protein, 4% fat  and 8% fiber) increased the growth rate in salinity stress. High energy feed fortified with immune stimulant showed best growth (P< 0.05) followed by probiotics and then probiotics in Cyprinus carpio Labeo rohita and Oreochromis mosambicus.










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