The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), has successfully demonstrated open pond culture of Asian Seabass (Lates calcarifer), which can significantly increase the yield of this delectable much-in-demand seafood with huge export potential and help small and marginal farmers to adopt this method in a cost-effective manner to increase their income.
Sea bass is a common fish name. Many fish species of various families have been called sea bass. With a biological name of Lates calcarifer, seabass in Asia and barramundi in Australia, is a large, euryhaline member of the family Centropomidae that is widely found in the Indo-West Pacific region from the Arabian Gulf to Taiwan- Province of China, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia.
The technology for commercial production of these species would be made available to farmers very soon by Rajiv Gandhi Centre of Aquaculture (RGCA). Seabass, which is reared through ‘cage culture’, fetch a price of more than Rs. 400 a kg in the domestic market. Under the open pond culture method, its yield can go up to nine tonnes per hectare.
MPEDA chairman A. Jayathilak, who witnessed the first catch of Seabass fish (average weight of 1.5 to 2 kg) and 1.10 tonnes being caught in a single haul from the Karaikal demonstration farm, said it would be the best alternate species for shrimp which contributes more than 70 percent of seafood exports.