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1/ Prepared by Prof. P.C. George, Joint Commissioner (Fisheries), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi and Dr. V.R.P. Sinha, Project Coordinator, Composite Fish Culture and Fish Seed Production, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR), Barrackpore, India


Fishery development through national plans has been directed at overall development of the industry in its various spheres, such as production from marine and inland capture fisheries, development and improvement of technology, provision of infrastructure at production and distribution centres, training of technical manpower and suitable arrangements for improved storage and marketing. Marine resource utilization is highly capital intensive and has the advantage of application of large-scale effort from selected points. An integrated approach has been adopted in the new programme for marine fishery development. In the inland fishery sector, however, development remained slow for many reasons, such as the widespread nature of the various activities, technology not being transferred down to the producer level, and absence of an adequate number of trained personnel. It is also true that the immense scope for fish production, through adoption of modern aquaculture practices has been brought to the attention of planners rather late. It has now been established that production could be substantially raised if input requirements and the various factors contributing to the success of modern techniques of aquaculture were fully taken into account and the necessary measures adopted to meet the needs of the country. While it is recognized that national plans have constraints of finance and inter-se-priorities, and regional and subregional patterns of development, it is high time that a projection be made on the way aquaculture could be used to raise fish production, increase employment potential and utilize rural manpower so that rural populations can better themselves socially and economically. It is in this context that an attempt is made in this document to present a ten-year aquaculture development plan for India for the period 1975-84. It is quite evident that such a document need not necessarily fall in line with the national projections or priorities which have to take care of several other factors in computing targets. Hence, while it is obvious that the assumptions and formulations made by the authors do not necessarily reflect the current official approach of their government, it is understood that these give a valid basis for a new production programme for accelerated development of aquaculture.


The present estimated population of India is 621 million and is expected to rise to about 790 million in the course of a decade, i.e., by 1985. The present per caput consumption of fish in the country is only 2.8 kg/year and so, even to maintain this rate of consumption, the quantity of fish required in 1985 will be about 2.3 million tons.

The total fish production in India in 1973 was 1.958 million tons of which 1.21 million tons was obtained from marine resources and 0.748 million tons from inland waters. Out of this production, 0.410 million tons was obtained through aquaculture.

During 1973, the import of fish into India was in the order of 2 500 tons, comprising exclusively freshwater fish to meet the immediate requirements of the north eastern states. The export of marine products during 1973 was 48 785 tons valued at I.Rs. 795.8 million2/ and represented about 2.5 percent of the country's total export income. However, the export was mainly of prawns and other crustaceans, which accounted for nearly a quarter of the international trade in shrimp products.

2/ U.S.$ 1.00 = approx. I.Rs. 8.40

In order to reduce the wide gap between fish production and requirement, several measures have to be taken in both marine and inland sectors. Capture fisheries alone cannot offer an inexhaustible resource to meet the ever increasing demands, particularly when conservation and management measures have to be implemented for optimum utilization of the resource on a continuing basis. In this context, aquaculture offers the best alternative approach to effectively supplement the requirements of fish for the people. The advantages of aquaculture particularly include comparatively low capital investment requirements, the intensive nature of the culture operations, and the fact that it could be developed as a cottage industry.

India offers a rich potential for development of aquaculture. Available statistics show that about 1.6 million ha of freshwater ponds and tanks are available for fish culture, of which 0.6 million ha are currently utilized, 0.4 million ha are readily available for fish culture, and 0.6 million ha are swampy areas needing reclamation. The average yield from the presently cultured waters is reported to be only about 600 kg/ha/year. Recently, however, India has taken a great leap forward by evolving polyculture techniques known as "composite fish culture" at the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, by which a production of 3-8 tons/ha/year has been achieved in manageable freshwater impoundments.

The cost of reclamation of swampy areas being high, techniques of culture of air-breathing fishes in swamps are also being developed.

It has been estimated that there are about 300 major-and medium-sized multipurpose reservoirs with a water spread of about 2 million ha. Studies carried out in these reservoirs in different parts of the country with diverse ecological conditions indicate an average fish production of 15 kg/ha/year. However, through adoption of proper methodology and establishment of necessary infrastructure, it is hoped that an average fish yield of 20 kg/ha/year will be realized in the next ten years.

Enough scope also exists for development of fish culture in the coldwater areas of the country. Frog farming using scientific systems can go a long way in developing a frog-leg industry.

The technical expertise to produce 1.5-2.0 tons of fish/ha/year from brackishwater ponds is now available, and there is therefore considerable scope for developing fish culture in the 2.0 million ha of brackishwater area available in the country.

The investigations carried out on prawn culture in paddy fields, milkfish, mullet and eel culture, and also on mussels, pearl oysters, edible oysters and seaweed culture, have shown promising results.

It is evident that aquaculture can, therefore, play a valuable role in minimizing the wide gap between requirement and production of fish, if carried out on modern scientific lines with the available resources of the country. Besides adding to protein production, it will also create job opportunities for a very large section of the population when implemented on a large scale (see Table 8).

2.1 National Policy

The national policy on fisheries development centres around the concept of improving the socially-backward communities, providing more and better employment opportunities, and evolution of short- and long-term programmes to raise production. The national policy also places emphasis on optimum utilization of all natural resources, accelerated development of technology for rational exploitation of the resources, and development of necessary infrastructure for organized production, storage and distribution. The national programmes include mobilization of manpower at various levels for production and marketing, thereby accruing maximum assured benefits to the producer and consumer, and reducing middlemen involvement to the minimum. Earning of foreign exchange through export of fishery products, without adversely affecting domestic supplies, is also an integral part of the national programme.


The main objective is to establish a mechanism by which the advances made in the technology of fish culture may be effectively disseminated for the purpose of increasing fish production in small water areas, such as ponds and tanks. An analysis of the inland fisheries situation has shown that priorities at this stage are to secure a greater flow of institutional finance for fish culture programmes and to adopt an integrated approach to the problems of development, including elimination of gaps in culture technology, organizing training of manpower, providing necessary inputs, and disseminating technology through well developed extension services. The ultimate objective is to raise aquaculture to the level of an organized industry from the present subsistence level activity, as it presently is in most areas.

3.1 Short-term Objectives

(i) The immediate goal is to reach reasonable production levels through substantial development of aquaculture in the country by the wide application of presently available technical knowledge, and to adopt improved technology of fish production in selected areas presently using traditional culture methods.

(ii) Immediate emphasis on the production of fish seed, and their efficient rearing in selected areas in each state to provide the stocking material.

(iii) To create and activate a discrete category of fish farmers throughout the country by introducing suitable training programmes, and at the same time, making water areas available and providing inputs for fish culture.

(iv) Making available water areas to the fish farmers on long-term lease in order to link leasing with intensive production programmes.

(v) To provide basic infrastructure for brackishwater fish and shrimp farming by constructing hatcheries for organized production of seed.

(vi) Bringing the financing institutions and fish farmers closer so that fish farmers may not be financially handicapped in undertaking improved fish culture.

3.2 Medium-term and Long-term Objectives

(i) Progressively adopt improved technology of fish production in certain selected areas.

(ii) Expand and develop brackishwater fish culture with particular emphasis on shrimps.

(iii) Establish fish seed farms in each district and possibly in each sub-division.

(iv) Develop techniques for culture of frogs, molluscs, seaweeds, etc.

(v) Develop techniques for running-water carp and catfish culture.

(vi) Conduct further research on nutrition and reproductive physiology of cultivated species of fishes and crustacea so that their growth and breeding can be better controlled. This will also help in formulating suitable feed mixtures.

(vii) Conduct further research to obtain still better fish production through different improved methods of aquaculture.

(viii) Develop fish culture in the coldwater areas of the country.

(ix) Develop culture technology for the non-conventional species of fish, molluscs, and crustaceans.

3.3 Production Targets

Aquaculture resources of India are as follows:

million ha

(i) Freshwater area presently under culture


(ii) Freshwater area readily available for fish culture


(iii) Derelict and swampy freshwater areas which could be reclaimed for culture


(iv) Reservoirs


(v) Brackishwater areas


A phased programme as shown in Table 1 has been adopted assuming 5 percent of the area presently under traditional culture will be converted annually to intensive culture areas.

Twenty-five thousand ha of ponds are being developed by the Fish Farmers Development Agency for intensive culture during the current fifth plan period, 1974-79. This area is expected to increase by at least 0.233 ha in the sixth plan period, i.e., 1979-84. Thus, it has been proposed that a total of 0.257 million ha out of 0.6 million ha of fresh water, presently under traditional culture, should be utilized for intensive fish culture by 1984 (Table 5). The target production for intensive fish culture has been set at about 2 tons/ha/year (see Table 7).

A similar programme is also envisaged in which presently available cultivable water, both fresh and brackish, and including swamps needing reclamation, will be utilized (see Tables 2, 3 and 4).

Considering the difficulties, particularly in procuring adequate stocking material, it is assumed that an additional 5 percent of the readily available freshwater area will be used for traditional fish culture annually from 1979, i.e., by the beginning of the sixth plan period. The production target has been set at 600 kg/ha/year. Thus, out of 0.4 million ha of fresh water readily available for fish culture, about 0.1 million ha will be utilized for traditional fish culture by the end of 1984 (see Table 2).

Derelict and swampy fresh- and brackishwater areas would need more time in which to develop fish culture. Development activities that are being initiated in some of these water bodies are largely capture oriented. A projection of their development has been made, assuming an additional 5 percent of available area will be used for culture activities annually from the year 1979, i.e., by the beginning of the sixth plan. Thus, out of the 0.6 million ha of derelict and swampy freshwater areas available, 0.13 million ha will be developed for aqua-culture by 1984 (see Table 3). The target of production has been assumed as 500 kg/ha/year.

Of the total area of about 2 million ha of brackishwater, 0.45 million ha will be in use for aquaculture by 1984 (see Table 4). The target of production has been kept at an average of 500 kg/ha/year. The areas under brackishwater production continue to be by and large capture oriented, although limited areas are being developed for culture of shrimp and related organisms.

The present level (1973) of aquaculture production in the country is estimated to be in the order of 0.41 million tons out of a total production of about 0.75 million tons from inland resources. Compared with this, it is expected that 1.45 million tons of fish will be produced from aquaculture alone in 1984 (see Table 7).

The sixth Five-Year Development Plan for fisheries extends from 1975-79, and aims at raising fish production from inland resources from 0.748 million tons to 1.06 million tons; fish eggs from 1 813.5 million to 4 160.3 million; and fry and fingerlings from 433.5 million to 1 188.3 million. The fish seed production will be increased further to obtain 8 451 million eggs for a requirement of 2 958 million fingerlings in 1984 (Table 10).

3.4 Cultivated Species and Production Systems

3.4.1 Carp culture in ponds

On the basis of complimentary feeding habits, six species of carps are cultured together in freshwater ponds under the new technology of composite fish culture. These are the three Indian major carps, viz., catla (Catla catla), a surface zooplankton feeder; rohu (Labeo rohita), a column dweller feeding on decaying vegetation; and mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala), a bottom dwelling fish utilizing semi-rotten and decayed vegetation and detritus for food and the three exotic carps, viz., silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), a surface phytoplankton feeder; grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), a macrovegetation feeder; and common carp (Cyprinus carpio), an omnivore feeding on a wide variety of food items both of animal and plant origin at the bottom and margins of ponds. In addition, a few other species, such as Notopterus chitala, Ompak bimaculatus, Mystus seenghala, and Pangasius pangasius are also sometimes included to exploit further unexploited niches in composite fish-culture ponds.

3.4.2 Development of reservoir fisheries

By regular stocking of carp fingerlings.

3.4.3 Culture of air-breathing fish species in swamps and derelict waters

The commercially important species of air-breathing fishes cultured in India are Clarias batrachus, Heteropneustes fossilis, Anabas testudineus, Channa spp., Notopterus spp., and murrels. Biological studies related to their culture have been completed, and preliminary culture trials have shown promising results.

3.4.4 Culture of fish and prawns in brackish water

The cultivable brackishwater fish and prawns of India are: grey mullets (Mugil cephalus, M. tade, M. macrolepis and M. parsia); milkfish (Chanos chanos); pearl spot (Etroplus suratensis); oxeyed herring (Megalops cyprinoides); betki (Lates calcarifer); threadfin (Polynemus tetradactylus); rock perch (Lutjanus argentimaculatus); and prawns (Penaeus monodon, P. indicus, Metapenaeus brevicornis, M. dobsoni, M. monoceros and Leander styliferus).

Experiment results in brackishwater fish culture have shown a production of about 2 tons/ha/year for the mullet Mugil parsia; about 836 kg/ha/7 months for the prawn Penaeus monodon; and 268.4 kg/ha/3 months for P. indicus; and 2 700 kg/ha/240 days for Lates calcarifer. Further work in the development of the techniques of brackishwater fish farming including pond fertilization and feeding is being vigorously pursued.

Successful spawning of prawns, such as P. indicus, P. merguiensis, Metapenaeus monoceros, M. affinis, M. dobsoni, and Parapenaeopsis stylifera and the rearing of their larvae in the laboratory have been achieved. Large-scale commercial production is being planned.

3.4.5 Other systems

Other systems of culture consist mainly of culture of carps in running water, culture of predatory species in enclosures, culture of oysters and clams, culture of pearl oysters, culture of seaweed, etc.

The culture technique for coldwater fishes, frogs, molluscs and weeds, etc., are under active investigation. Tilapia culture has shown a production as high as 10 000 kg/ha/year. An elver resources survey and a pilot project on eel culture have been proposed, and another pilot project on mussel culture is being implemented. Recently a pilot project for pearl culture was also initiated.


4.1 Extension Service

One of the important activities envisaged during the current five-year plan for fisheries development is the organization of an effective fisheries extension service in the country. Besides extension units attached to research institutes and survey organizations, fisheries extension units are also operating in the states. It has, however, been observed that field level extension services require additional support by way of suitable educational material better equipment and a regular flow of extension information. In addition, the extension officers in most cases require specialized training in advanced methods of extension work. It is proposed to resolve these shortcomings through:

(a) introduction of extension training separately for fish culture and for fish handling and processing;

(b) supply of extension literature, extension equipment, publicity material and professional equipment;

(c) strengthening of the core organization to ensure effective coordination of various activities;

(d) advanced training in aquaculture extension technology.

The Central Government has already started an Extension Training Centre in Fish Culture at Hyderabad. Action is being taken to organize another Extension Training Centre for Fish Handling and Processing. Steps are also being taken to strengthen the organization for documentation and publicity.

There is now no institution specifically organized for research and training in aquaculture. Effective transfer of technology to farmers and speedy adoption of aquaculture as an industry are hampered due to this gap. While effective training of village/Panchayat - level workers in their local language could be organized, higher level technicians and teachers would need specialized training at national and regional levels.

4.2 Training of Core Personnel

The Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute arranges ad hoc courses for training extension personnel of the States Fisheries Departments.

The Extension Training Centre of the Government of India at Hyderabad provides training on fisheries extension techniques. The Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Bombay, conducts a two-year course on different aspects of fisheries, while the Inland Fisheries Training Unit, Barrackpore and the Regional Training Centre at Agra, of the Central Institute of Fisheries Education, provide instruction in inland fisheries and aquaculture at different levels. Fishery education and training programmes and fishery facilities are also being established in several agricultural universities in India.

4.3 Organization of Research

4.3.1 Existing research facilities

Various aspects of inland fisheries research, both freshwater and brackishwater, are at present handled by a well organized, large, central institution, which has established substations in different parts of the country for specialized research. Similarly, certain aspects of coastal aquaculture research form part of the programme of another central institute engaged in marine fishery research. All India Coordinated Research Projects initiated recently under these institutes by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research have responsibility for certain field facilities for aquaculture research. The Central Institute of Fisheries Education with regional centres in inland fish culture and brackishwater fish culture offers facilities for research and training. Many of the agricultural universities have established faculties for fisheries and limnological studies, whereas research programmes in basic life-sciences have been taken up by traditional universities. Established private industries have been showing interest in supporting and organizing research programmes in mariculture with a view to diversifying their activities and promoting export potential.

Fishery research stations in the various states of India are devoting attention to research programmes of a local nature.

One of the major constraints envisaged in attaining the objective of aquaculture development is the lack of large, properly designed experimental fish farms, both fresh and brackish-water, where aquaculture systems could be tested and developed. Establishment of an advanced centre for aquaculture research with the necessary adjunct of such well designed experimental farms would go a long way toward providing the required research support and incentive. Other requirements in terms of consultancies fellowships and sophisticated equipment are described in section 5.4.

4.3.2 Training of research personnel

While research personnel will acquire considerable experience and expertise in the central aquaculture complex, it is necessary to provide some of them with advanced training in different aspects of high-yielding intensive systems of aquaculture in selected countries where advanced technology is available.

While no precise estimates of the cost of establishing a large, central aquaculture complex is available, it is expected that such a complex of about 200 ha with the necessary working facilities would require a total expenditure of about I.Rs. 30 million (to attain working condition in 1979) by 1984.


5.1 Financing and Credit

An appraisal of credit requirements to implement fishery plan schemes was made, and inadequate availability of finance including credit facilities has been identified as a bottleneck for the development of fisheries in India. While the Agricultural Refinance Corporation is heavily involved in providing credit to coastal fishery programmes, credit has not been forthcoming to any significant degree to meet the requirements of fish culture programmes. The present pattern of ownership and control of ponds through multiple agencies and short-term leasing policies have also hindered long-term development efforts by entrepreneurs. The Committee on Leasing Policies of Inland Fisheries in 1973 made several recommendations to link leasing programmes with production programmes so as to facilitate credit flow into fish-culture schemes. Recently financial institutions have shown appreciation of the special problems of fish culture and have extended cooperation to support programmes in inland fishery development.

5.2 Phasing and Management of Production Programmes

Projections of annual development of aquaculture, both in fresh water and brackish water, have been summarized in Tables 1-4. The Fish Farmer Development Agency, established with components for training and extension and adoption of new technology, will primarily be responsible for intensive fish culture and seed production on a large scale. It is hoped that these agencies, organized and supported by the central and state governments and commercial financial institutions, will ultimately help in raising aquaculture to the level of an organized industry.

It is also proposed to arrange for 'service parties' of skilled farmers to work in close liaison with the extension staff. These farmers would demonstrate modern techniques and would gradually develop working expertise of their own so that they would subsequently form a competent team for field demonstration. The total requirement of trained farmers will be about 129 000 people in 1984 to take up intensive fish culture in 0.258 million ha (see Table 8) A projection of employment potential of freshwater fish culture in 1984 has also been made' which indicates considerable job opportunities for non-skilled persons also i.e., about 300 000 people (Table 8).

Technical manpower requirements will be in the order of 258 extension workers, assuming one extension worker can look after 100 ha of water area. Each extension worker will be assisted by two senior field assistants or two fieldmen (see Table 9), making a total of 518 field assistants. These requirements can be met primarily by training of in-service personnel for which existing arrangements will be streamlined, re-organized and strengthened. The operative-level training envisaged in the state sector will be able to train 516 field assistants in ten years' time, i.e., 1984.

The total requirement of stocking material in 1984 for India has been estimated (see Table 6). Since the technology of induced breeding of brackishwater fish is Only being developed and may take time for adoption in the field, it is assumed that most of the stocking material will continue to be from natural collection as is presently practised. The technology of induced breeding of air-breathing fishes has also been evolved, which can make available 300 million or more of their seed. In addition to this, approximately 1 000 million finger-lings of carp will be required for stocking part of the derelict water areas. Thus, the total requirement of carp fingerlings needed for intensive culture, traditional culture, and for reservoirs at the rate indicated in Table 6, would be about 2 000 million.

To meet the requirements, it is proposed to partly increase the spawn egg collection from natural sources from 1 705 million presently (1973) to 6 000 million in 1984 and spawn production from induced breeding from 108 million (1973) to 2 451 million (see Table 10). For rearing these spawn a total area of 850 ha of nursery ponds and 7 500 ha of rearing ponds will be required (see Table 13). In addition to these, 100 ha will be required to raise the brood-stock for induced spawning (see Table 12).

It is proposed that rearing of spawn collected from natural sources should be taken up in the respective state government farms in those states where natural spawn is available, i.e., in Assam, Bihar; Bengal, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. In order to raise 6 000 million spawn to fry stage, 600 ha of nursery area will be required. For induced breeding of 2 451 million spawn, the Fish Farmers' Development Agency and other state government farms will provide the required 250 ha of nursery area.

The raising of fry to fingerlings would require 7 500 ha of rearing space, which may not pose much difficulty since the same ponds can be used for rearing large fish also after the fry are raised to fingerlings in a three-month period.

The technical manpower requirement for induced breeding in 1984 will be about 2 000 since one trained officer can easily produce about 12.5 million spawn per season through induced breeding (see Table 9). The above personnel will get their training from the central institutes.

The requirement for inorganic fertilizers over ten years for intensive fish culture comes to 0.748 million tons and conventional feed consisting of oil cake and rice bran to about 3.0 million tons (see Table 5).

5.2.1 Storage, marketing and export

Organized arrangements for storage and marketing are necessary to make available the aquaculture products in the interior and to stabilize the price structure to benefit both the producer and consumer.

A significant part of the products of coastal aquaculture, particularly of shrimp, eels and crab, are expected to be exported to bring in valuable foreign exchange. The strategy for storage, marketing and export is by and large the same as for capture fishery products.

Since the aquaculture programmes are rather spread out, larger numbers of units of smaller capacity have to be established for the production and storage of frozen products. It is expected that part of the produce will be sold at the farms and also in the nearest urban markets, and that a sizable portion will have to be transported to centres as far away as 1 500-2 000 km. Arrangements exist for storage at production centres and these have to be expanded to provide for increased intake at both production and distribution centres. The two points are being connected by refrigerated rail transport, insulated trucks and also by ordinary trucks to transport iced fish depending on the distance to be covered in each case, thereby providing a "cold chain" structure. It has been found necessary to repack the products at transit centres for transportation to places that could not be reached within a day or two.

Product diversification is envisaged to stabilize prices and utilize all varieties of fish as well as to make available "ready-to-cook" products. Skinning, de-boning and filleting of fish are being organized and these will be expanded to meet additional requirements. Odourless fish powder, acceptable for human consumption and different types of concentrates, could be produced and marketed when aquaculture reaches the level of an organized industry. Development of a fish-meal industry through aquaculture products is not envisaged. The existing dry-fish market also will have to be expanded as aquaculture production picks up.

Since the entire programme has to be dovetailed into the storage and marketing programmes of marine fish marketing projects, no separate projections are attempted. It is intended that the entire marketing programme be brought into the cooperative sector to minimize and ultimately do away with middle-men who dominate fish marketing. Vigorous efforts are needed to make cooperatives more action oriented and viable, so as to enable them to take over marketing of a perishable product like fish with all the related problems of market fluctuations and consumer preferences.

5.3 Budget

5.3.1 Intensive fish culture

Detailed projections of total input requirement for development of intensive fish culture in India in ten years, i.e., 1975-84, have been made in Table 5. The area to be developed has been estimated at 0.257 million ha. Costs estimated include those for initial development and working capital required for stocking material, organic manure, inorganic fertilizers and feed. The total cost over the ten-year period comes to about I.Rs. 5 544 million for a total production of 3 million tons of fish. The gross income from the sale of fish at the rate of I.Rs. 5/kg at the farm comes to I.Rs. 15 000 million. However, this assessment does not include cost of labour or rental charges of water and management expenses.

5.3.2 Natural spawn collection

Projection of input requirement for collection of carp seed from natural sources in 1984 in India has been made (see Table 10). The total requirement of spawn from natural sources will be about 6 000 million. The cost of operation/collection will be I.Rs. 2.4 million. This will include wages for the skilled fishermen, equipment and transport charges in going to the collection site and back. Another I.Rs. 2.4 million will be required for spawn transport and for their marketing, etc. Thus, a total of I.Rs. 4.8 million will be spent, against which the gross income from the sale of spawn would be I.Rs. 12 million at the prevailing market rate of I.Rs. 2 000 per million for 6 000 million spawn.

5.3.3 Carp seed production by induced breeding

Projection of input requirement for carp seed production by induced breeding in 1984 in India has been made (see Table 11). The total spawn from induced breeding required will be about 2 500 million. The cost of culture and maintenance of broodfish in 100 ha for a period of two years will be I.Rs. 2.12 million. This does not include the rental of water or managerial cost. Cost of other items involved in induced breeding will be about I.Rs. 1.24 million, which includes the equipment for induced breeding and the salary of technical staff and labour charges. Thus, the total expenditure comes to I.Rs. 3.36 million, whereas the return from sale of fish after taking out pituitary gland of those which are not selected for hypophysation, and also those after hypophysation at the rate of I.Rs. 5/kg will be I.Rs. 4.2 million, and income from sale of spawn at the rate of 2 000 per million will be I.Rs. 5 million. Thus, the gross income will be I.Rs. 9.2 million.

5.3.4 Rearing of spawn, fry and fingerlings

Projection of input requirement for rearing of spawn, fry and fingerlings in 1984 in India has been made (see Table 13). The total area required per season for nursery space will be 850 ha, and for rearing 7 500 ha. The cost of rearing spawn to fry comes to about I.Rs. 29.7 million, which includes capital expenditure on renovation, etc., and also other expenditures for pond preparation, feeding, etc. On the other hand, the cost of rearing of fry to finger-ling comes to I.Rs. 90 million, which includes capital expenditure for renovation and other expenditures for pond preparation, feeding, etc. However, the rental for nursery and rearing space and also managerial costs are not included here. The cost of 8 500 million spawn at the rate of I.Rs. 2 000 per million will be I.Rs. 17.0 million. Thus, a total cost of I.Rs. 136.7 million will be incurred in rearing 3 000 million fingerlings assuming 35 percent survival from the spawn to fingerling stage. The gross income from the sale of 3 000 million fingerlings at the rate of I.Rs. 100 000 per million will be I.Rs. 300 million.

5.4 External Assistance Requirements

External assistance is required only in selected areas and this may be in the form of consultancy services, fellowships and limited quantities of sophisticated equipment.

5.4.1 Consultancy service

The following consultants for limited periods will be required for quick development of aquaculture in the country.

(i) Aquaculture engineering
(ii) Fish nutrition
(iii) Oyster and mussel culture
(iv) Improved methods of prawn breeding and rearing
(v) Fish pathology
(vi) Fish marketing,

5.4.2 Fellowships

Fellowships in the undermentioned fields are desired for varying periods to assimilate technology developed abroad for comparative studies.

(i) Nutrition of carps
(ii) Nutrition of shellfish
(iii) Shrimp culture
(iv) Oyster and mussel culture
(v) Nutrition of mullets
(vi) Fish pathology
(vii) Reproductive physiology
(viii) Running-water fish culture
(ix) Biological filters for intensive fish culture
(x)Pollution studies
(xi)Sewage-fed fisheries
(xii)Fisheries economics
(xiii)Fisheries extension
(xiv)Nutrition of air-breathing fishes.

5.4.3 Equipment

Certain laboratory and fish-farm equipment which are not readily available in India may have to be imported in limited quantities.


In any development planning, the need to synchronize the various aspects of development cannot be overestimated. In the case of aquaculture, these aspects include development of the basic technology, training of technical manpower at various levels, availability of inputs at reasonable cost, credit and financing facilities and suitable organizations to tie up the various loose ends and to give effective supervision. In India, aquaculture practices have been in existence as a traditional activity in several areas. What is urgently required is to raise it to the level of an organized but small-scale industry and spread it to all parts of the country. This will naturally be a long process. The national policy and priority programmes undertaken in the current development plan period are to accelerate this process of development to achieve the objectives already mentioned in this plan in appropriate sections, Details of certain aspects of the proposed "Ten-Year Programme" are not mentioned here, as it is felt that they may lose relevance in the present age of fast development of technology and shifting of emphasis on priorities, after a five-to seven-year period of experimentation and field trials. Several assumptions also had to be made in these projections in the absence of actual data and field results in those sectors.


Projection of Development of Intensive Freshwater Fish Culture in Areas where Traditional Fish Culture Methods are Presently Used

Phase of development (year)

Traditional culture area (million ha)

Proposed intensive culture area (million ha)
































(a) Total area available in this category is 0.6 million ha

(b) The projection has been made assuming an additional 5 percent of the available area will be used for intensive fish culture annually

(c) The Fish Farmer Development Agency recently initiated by Government of India has allocated 25 000 ha for intensive cultivation in the fifth plan period, which is assumed to be raised to at least 50 000 ha in the sixth plan period

(d) Toward the end of the sixth plan period, some areas are also scheduled to be used for intensive culture


Projection of Development of Fish Culture in Fresh Waters readily avail-for Fish Culture

Phase of development (year)

Area not utilized (million ha)

Area proposed to be utilized (million ha)
































(a) Total area available in this category is 0.4 million ha

(b) The projection has been made assuming an additional 5 percent of the readily available water area will be used for traditional fish culture annually from 1979, i.e., by the beginning of the sixth plan period

(c) The development activities being initiated in some of these water bodies are not listed here as they are largely capture oriented

(d) Toward the end of the sixth plan period, some areas are also scheduled for intensive culture


Projection of Development of Fish Culture (mostly of Air-Breathing Fishes) in Derelict and Swampy Fresh Waters

Phase of development (year)

Area available (million ha)

Area proposed to he utilized for aquaculture (million ha)
































(a) Total area available in this category is 0.6 million ha

(b) The projection has been made assuming an additional 5 percent of the available area will be used for fish culture each year from 1979, i.e., from the beginning of the sixth plan period. Even before this, some areas may be utilized for culture activities

(c) The development activities being initiated in some of these water bodies are not listed here as they are largely capture oriented

(d) 0.136 million ha are shown for extensive culture of air-breathing fishes, out of which some areas are planned to be used for intensive culture of these species


Projection of Development of Brackishwater Fish Culture

Phase of development (year)

Area available (million ha)

Area proposed to be utilized for aquaculture (million ha)



















1 80-81













(a) Total brackish water available for culture is 2 million ha

(b) The projection has been made assuming an additional 5 percent of the available area will be used for fish culture each year from 1979, i.e., from the beginning of the sixth plan period. Even before this, some areas may be utilized for culture activities

(c) The areas under brackishwater production continue to be primarily capture oriented, although limited areas are being used for culture of shrimp and related species

(d) 0.45 million ha are shown for extensive culture of brackishwater fishes, out of which some areas are planned to be utilized for intensive culture of these species

TABLE 5 (a)

Projection of Input Requirements for Development of Intensive Fish Culture (1974-84)

Period: 1974-84 = 10 years
Area to be developed: 0.258 million ha over 10 years

Initial Development Cost (includes development cost, farm implements and watermen shed)


Area proposed for intensive fish culture
(million ha)

Total cost at I.Rs.
2 000/ha
(million I.Rs.)

































514 = 516

TABLE 5 (b)

Working Capital Required for Development of Aquaculture

* In millions


(a) The above assessment, however, does not include the cost of labour or rental charge of water/depreciation and management

(b) The amounts have been calculated on the prevailing market price

(c) The quantity of inputs, such as feed fertilizers, has been estimated on the basis of a production rate of 2 tons/ha/year


Total Requirement of Stocking Material by 1984

Type of culture


Total area to be stocked (million ha)

Rate of stocking (fish/ha)

Total number of fingerlings (millions)

Intensive culture



5 000a/

1 290

Traditional culture










Culture in swamps and derelict waters

Carp, air-breathing fish and others


10 000d/

1 300

Brackish waters



30 000

1 500


0.2 0.45

5 000

1 000

Milkfish and others


5 000f/

1 000

a/ Anticipating the fingerlings made available for stocking may not always be the right size, a higher level of stocking is projected to ensure that the level of production envisaged is achieved

b/ Existing low level of stocking has been taken into account

c/ Average low productivity levels of open-water areas and availability of large size stocking material have been taken into account in deciding the stocking rate

d/ Based on experimental findings

e/ At post-larval stage 10-12

f/ Possibility of harvesting two crops in a year has been taken into account


Projection of the Level of Total Fish Production from aquaculture in 1984

Type of culture

Average rate of production (kg/ha)

Total area (million ha)

Total production (million tons)

Intensive culture of carp

2 000



Traditional culture of carp




Culture in swamps and derelict areas




Brackishwater culture




Reservoir culture





a/ The present level (1973) of aquaculture production in the country is estimated to be in the order of 0.41 million tons out of a total production of about 0.75 million tons from inland resources

b/ Although a level of production of about 9 tons/ha/year has been demonstrated through composite fish culture of carp in different parts of the country for the purposes of this projection only a modest level of 2 tons/ha/year has been used because of the present diffused status of the industry, inputs and personnel requirements. The same parameters have been assumed in projection of the other systems of culture as well.


Projection of Employment Potential from Freshwater Fish Culture (Intensive Culture of Carp) in 1984



For a 2-ha unit

Direct employment potential for 0.258 million ha


Managerial personnel or "fish farmers" performing skilled jobs and also looking after, watch and ward

1 person

0.129 million


Skilled personnel to look after, watch and ward in addition to his other duties

1 person

0.129 million
0.258 million

Assuming one person is already looking after the work, additional employment potential will be 0.129 million.

2. Daily payment basis (casual labour) for stocking and harvesting

On daily payment basis at 110 man days/ha/year = 28.3 million man days/year.

3. Employment through marketing of fish 1/

1/ This estimation is based on the assumption that marketing 11 tons of fish provides employment for one person. For the marketing of additional production envisaged, a proportionate increase in employment potential is projected. However, this projection may vary depending on factors, such as local availability of labour, incentives for marketing, etc.

Presently, marketing of 0.36 million tons of fish engages 0.033 million people, so 0.77 million tons (produced from intensive culture and traditional culture of carps) will engage 0.071 million people, an additional 0.038 million people.

4. Employment generated in initial renovation and development of 0.258 million ha


(in million I.Rs.)

% on wage

Average rate of wage

Total man days (millions)

Dev. expenditure





Equipment, sheds, etc.







Initial capital inputs will thus generate employment potential of the order of 50 million man days.

5. Employment generated by floating capital

The indirect employment engagement in producing and supplying the floating capital inputs may be estimated at about 40 percent for fingerling production and about 10 percent on Other input items such as feed, fertilizer, etc. (see Table 5).


I.Rs. (millions)

Wages (%)

I.Rs. (millions)





Other inputs





Thus, I.Rs. 146.2 million converted to man days at the rate of I.Rs. 5/day = 29.2 million man days per year.

TABLE 8 (continued)


Additional employment potential

in million man days

in million persons



Fish culture (regular)


Fish culture (daily payment basis)



Employment in marketing


Employment generated in initial renovation and development



Employment generated by floating capital








Projection of Technical Manpower Requirements for Intensive Fish Culture and Fish Seed Production in 1984

Intensive fish culture in fresh water (total area 0.258 million ha)


Area under control

Total number required



100 ha water area


Field assistants


100 ha water area


Carp seed production (total amount required 25 000 million eggs)


Total number required

Officers (trained fish breeders)

1/12.5 million eggs

2 000

Note: In addition to the above, 0.129 million fish farmers (skilled) will be needed for intensive fish culture (see Table 8) and 3 200 skilled fishermen for natural egg collection (see Table 11)


Projection of Carp Seed Requirement (1973-84)


1973 eggs (millions)

1979 eggs (millions)

1984 eggs (millions)

Collection from natural sources

1 705

3 744

6 000

Eggs from induced Spawning (hypophysation and bundh breeding)



2 451


1 813

4 160

8 451

Percentage survival




Fingerlings in millions


1 188

2 958


(a) The requirement of carp seed in 1984 shows the stocking material needed for intensive culture, traditional culture, for reservoirs and also for a part of derelict waters for which approximately 1 000 million fingerlings will be required. Nevertheless, the technology of induced breeding of air-breathing fishes has also been evolved, which can make available 300 million or more of their seed.

(b) The technology of induced breeding of brackishwater fish is being developed but here it is assumed that most of the stocking material will continue to be from natural collection as is presently practised.


Projection of Input Requirements for Collection of Carp Seed from Natural Sources in India (1984)

Total requirement of eggs in 1984 = 6 000 million
Collection to be made = 12 000 million1/

1. Cost of operation

Million I.Rs.

(a) Wages for 3 200 skilled fishermen at I.Rs. 250/month for 2 months (seasonal collection during monsoon)


(b) Transport charges to site and back and other miscellaneous expenditures


(c) Equipment (nets, hapas, bamboo poles, etc.)


Allowing 25 percent depreciation per annum for items under (c), expenditure amounts to about I.Rs. 2.4 million.

Cost of the eggs at collection site = I.Rs. 400 per million.

It is also assumed that a team of eight skilled fishermen can efficiently handle about 15 nets during the season. The total operation lasts for about 6-8 weeks during the monsoon season. Though the expected collection is highly nature-dependent, this unit can collect on an average 30 million eggs per season.

2. Economics

Million I.Rs.

(a) Cost of operation (at collection site)

I.Rs. 400/million


(b) Transport, market cost, octroi, market commission, etc.

I.Rs. 400/million


I.Rs. 800/million


Market price

I.Rs. 2 000/million


1/ Fifty percent mortality has been assumed during handling at site and transport, etc. Hence the actual collection should be 12 000 million. Rates of inputs and the eggs are calculated at prevailing market prices


Projection of Input Requirement for Carp Seed Production by Induced Breeding in 1984

Total spawn produced by induced breeding - 2 451 million, i.e., about 2 500 million

Fertilized eggs required - 5 000 million (assuming 50 percent survival of the fertilized eggs)

Number of eggs per kg of spawner - 100 000

Number of female spawners required = 50 000 at 2 kg body weight each = 100 000 kg of females (assuming 50 percent success of induced breeding)

The total requirement of broodfish

females = 50 000 (each weighing about 2 kg)

males = 75 000 (each weighing about 2 kg)

Cost of culture and maintenance of broodfish

Initial stocking of 500 000 fingerlings in 100 ha at the rate of 5 000 fingerlings/ha, and rearing them for two years

Million I.Rs.

Area required = 100 ha

Stocking material - 500 000


Other inputs (feed, fertilizer, etc.)


Period of culture two years


At 10 percent mortality during two years about 450 000 fish of about 2 kg each will be available, of which 27 percent are selected as high-quality broodfish for hypophysation:

450 000 fish available - 125 000 broodfish = 325 000 fish surplus sold for I.Rs. 3.2 million at I.Rs. 5/kg

After breeding, the remaining fish (50 000 female and 75 000 male) with a total weight of 250 000 kg may lose 20 percent of their weight through loss of gonads. Therefore, the remaining total weight of fish (200 000 kg) is sold at I.Rs. 5/kg = I.Rs. 1.0 million

Therefore, total annual value of broodstock is estimated at I.Rs. 4.2 million

Other expenditures involved in induced breeding

For 10 million spawn

2 500 million spawn
(I.Rs. million)

Breeding hapa, hatching hapa and other small equipment

2 500


Salary for technical staff and labour charges

2 500



Pituitary gland requirements

For females: 100 000 kg fish at 10 mg pituitary per kg =

1 000 000 mg

For males: 150 000 kg fish at 8 mg pituitary per kg =

1 200 000 mg

2 200 000 mg

This amount of pituitary will be obtained from those fish which are not selected for induced breeding, i.e., 325 000 fish, each weighing about 2 kg and assuming each pituitary will weigh approximately 7 mg

Summary of investment and income for induced breeding

Million I.Rs.

Cost of culture and maintenance of broodfish


Cost of other expenditures involved in induced breeding




From sale of surplus broodstock after removing pituitary gland - 650 000 kg at I.Rs. 5/kg


From sale of spawned fish - 200 000 kg at I.Rs. 5/kg


Sale of spawn - 25 000 million at I.Rs. 2 000 per million



The rental of water is not included in the above cost estimates. Also, managerial costs are not included in cost estimates for rearing broodstock.


Projection of Input Requirement for Rearing of Spawn-Fry-Fingerlings in 1984

Total spawn required = 8 500 million

Stocking density of 5 million/ha with two crops in one season, gives a total requirement of 10 million/ha

Cost of rearing spawn to fry
(Area required - 850 ha)


(million I.Rs.)

Capital expenditure for renovation, etc.

10 000/ha


Other expenditures for pond preparation, feeding, etc.

25 000/ha



Cost of rearing fry to fingerlings
(Period of rearing 3 months)
(Area required - approximately 7 500 ha)

Capital expenditure for renovation, etc.

2 000/ha


Other expenditures for pond preparation, feeding, etc.

10 000/ha



Total budget is summarized as follows

Cost of 8 500 million spawn at I.Rs. 2 000/million


Cost of rearing to fry


Cost of rearing to fingerlings



Return from sale of 3 000 million fingerlings at I.Rs. 100 000/million1/ I.Rs. 300 million

1/ The rates are calculated at a lower rate than the prevailing market price of I.Rs. 156 000/million (Table 5)

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