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Inland Aquaculture in Kerala

logoAquaculture being a fast growing food production system will continue to strengthen its role in contributing to food security and poverty alleviation in India and many developing countries. There are several emerging diseases for farmed fish in India, particularly for freshwater fish and prawns. The practice of seed import without adequate precautions could bring many new diseases to the aquaculture sector in Kerala. The indiscriminate capture of ornamental fish from the wild without adequate replenishment is a serious threat to the biodiversity of the state

Fish and fisheries products are the primary protein sources for some 950 million people worldwide, and are an important part of the diet of many more. Fish is the most heavily traded food commodity in the world. Aquaculture being a fast-growing food production system, will continue to strengthen its role in contributing to food security and poverty alleviation in India and many developing countries, in view of the stagnating yields from capture fisheries and increasing demand for fish and fishery products. Despite its high productivity, there is very little recognition of freshwater- dependent fishery production due mainly to a general lack of data and scientific literature compared with industrial marine fisheries. The majority of freshwater fisheries and aquaculture is small-scale and has received only scant attention during the past few decades.

The world production of fish reached an all-time high of about 172 million MT in 2018, largely contributed by the increasing aquaculture.  The world inland and coastal aquaculture has been steadily increasing over the past few years. India with an area of 3.3 million sq. km and a population of over a billion people, occupies second position in the world in aquaculture production, contributing to over 10 million MT of fish. Inland aquaculture has been the major fish producing system in India. Most of the aquaculture activities in India could be regarded as rural aquaculture. Freshwater aquaculture in village tanks and ponds follow the improved traditional or semi-intensive composite culture/ polyculture system and they serve the household needs for fish and generate some additional income for the family.

Freshwater resources of Kerala

The state of Kerala is gifted with rich resources of freshwater bodies suitable for aquaculture. The state has a total freshwater area of 1, 58,358 ha, consisting of reservoirs (42,890 ha), private ponds (21,986 ha), irrigation tanks (2,835 ha), freshwater lakes (1,620 ha), panchayat ponds (1,487 ha), village ponds and other water holds (1,317 ha), and check dams, bunds, barriers or anicuts (1,138 ha). The state has 41 west-flowing and 3 east-flowing rivers, constituting an area of 85,000 ha.


There are 54 reservoirs in the state (2 major above 5,000 ha, 13 medium of 1,000 to 5,000 ha and 39 small of less than 1,000 ha). The total reservoir area is the highest in Idukki district(18,651 ha) followed by Palakkad (7,132 ha), Thrissur (3,706 ha), Kozhikod (3,172 ha) Kollam (2,590 ha), Pathanamthitta (2,505 ha) and Thiruvananthapuram (2,340 ha). The maximum number of small reservoirs is in the Idukki district (14) followed by Palakkad (10) Thrissur (6) and Pathanamthitta (3). The freshwater lake area is maximum in Idukki district (624 ha) followed by Kollam (440 ha), Thrissur (295 ha) and Thiruvananthapuram (250 ha).

Freshwater aquaculture development in Kerala

Modern fish culture in India became prominent with the success and perfection of induced spawning techniques for the Indian major and exotic carps. Catla catla and Labeo fimbriatus were successfully bred at Malampuzha, and this centre became the focus of inland fisheries development in Kerala. Trials conducted at different parts of the country laid the scientific foundation of composite fish culture techniques. Commercial hatchery production of giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii was also achieved with the experiments conducted at the Fisheries College, Kochi in 1987 resulting in a cost-effective technology.

Lack of diversification in aquaculture

At present, freshwater aquaculture system in Kerala remains restricted to carp culture in a few private ponds, prawn cum paddy culture in limited areas in Kuttanad and Kole lands, stocking of carps in a few irrigation reservoirs, and river ranching in a few rivers on a limited scale. No serious effort has been taken to develop coldwater fish culture, game fisheries, culture of indigenous fish species of Kerala, freshwater pearls, etc. The farming of Karimeen(Etroplus suratenis ) has recently emerged as a popular practice in ponds, and often in cages set in open water bodies. Advanced farming practices such as cage culture; pen culture and running water culture are emerging in many places, and have great potential for utilizing vast areas of freshwater bodies in the State.

Adverse climate

The Kuttanad area (55,000 ha) and the Kole lands (13,632 ha) suitable for paddy cum fish culture in Kerala lie below the mean sea level, which make them prone to frequent floods. In many places, the flood water level is raised up to 4 feet above the existing embankments during heavy monsoon showers leading to crop loss. The recent floods have caused enormous damage to the freshwater ecosystems in the State, and this damage has not yet been assessed.

Seed import and threat of diseases

A major share of the seed required for freshwater aquaculture is imported from AP, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal by long distance transport. The regulation of seed import is also weak and there is no effective control on the species brought and none of the quarantine conditions are followed in such live transport and stocking  in the water bodies of Kerala.This practice poses serious biodversity and zootechnical issues. The appearance of several prohibited species of fish that naturally occur in the rivers of Southeast Asia or South American countries is a drastic example of the damage caused to Kerala’s aquatic ecosystem because of the largely unregulated import of fish to the State for farming and for the ornamental fish industry. There are several emerging diseases for farmed fish in India, particularly for freshwater fish and prawns.  The practice of seed import without adequate precautions could bring many new diseases to the aquaculture sector in Kerala.

Lack of suitable feed for freshwater aquaculture

Groundnut Oil Cake and rice bran remain the most popular feed for the freshwater fish cultured in India. Further, ornamental fish industry still prefers imported feeds due to lack of indigenously- made feeds of good quality. Of late, farmers have begun using formulated feeds in limited quantities.


Capture based ornamental fishery Ornamental fishery is largely restricted to the sale of riverine collection of indigenous varieties alone for international destinations, directly or via the ports in Chennai, Mumbai or Kolkata. It is evident that only a fraction (less than 10%) of the wild caught fish reaches the final destination in the international market, while the rest is lost while transfer from the source of collection, and conditioning before export. The indiscriminate capture of ornamental fish from the wild without adequate replenishment is a serious threat to the biodiversity of the state. The fact that many of these species are listed as ’vulnerable’ or ‘endangered’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species further compounds the problem. 

Lack of value-added aquaculture products

Most of the freshwater fishes are marketed whole without any processing. No effort has been taken to make value-added products like fish fillets, surimi etc. The floating bones in the flesh of the carps might be the main hindrance to value addition. 

Administrative constraints

 At the national and the state level, aquaculture policies are being established to stimulate development. Many governments have intervened at the macro level by designating aquaculture as a priority area in their economic agendas, defining goals and targets and establishing guiding strategies to achieve them by facilitating reasonable access to credit, providing fiscal incentives and removing institutional constraints. However, in many cases, aquaculture administration still falls under more than one agency, which often hinders progress. This is true for our state also where aquaculture activities are taken up by agencies, the activities of which are often overlapping, and policies are contradictory in many instances.

Prospects for inland aquaculture development in Kerala Despite the many constraints that face the development, freshwater aquaculture in Kerala present a positive outlook. The proven success of extensive paddy cum fish culture in Vietnam and China could be emulated to suit these areas. Measures to improve fish production in the State by expanding farming areas and enhancing productivity of the aquaculture systems are essential.

Although non-endemic in the rivers, the Indian major carps, Chinese carps and common carp have become well established in the waters of Kerala and their propagation need to be encouraged. Endemic species like the pearl spot, (Etroplus suratensis, though exotic, it is at home in Kerala), Manjakoori (Horobagrus brachysoma), the native catfish (Clarias dussumeirii), and Gonoproktopterus curmuca enjoy great preference among Keralites. These species have been shown to grow well, and success achieved in their seed production by the Kerala Agricultural University.

Cage culture in the freshwater reservoirs of Kerala would contribute significantly in augmenting the fish and prawn production from the state, which has a direct bearing on export earnings. The cultivable space could be more effectively enhanced by utilizing the available water area, and facilitating easier harvesting compared to the conventional farming in earthen ponds. Cage culture does not affect the indigenous flora and fauna of the reservoirs or their water flow characteristics, and is therefore ecologically safe. Apart from offering direct employment to rural population, it would also create a new line of rural entrepreneurs, who could be trained to achieve maximum output from the limited resources available, without harming the environment. Cage culture is most suitable for freshwater lakes and reservoirs but may be practiced in any environment suitable for fish culture. It is promising to note that there has been a recent expansion in the cage culture of Karimeen in the fresh and brackish water bodies in some districts of Kerala. Cage culture of Karimeen, common carp, and other suitable fishes should be promoted in the reservoirs and freshwater lakes in the State.

Farming of freshwater prawns

Unlike the non-endemic carps, the freshwater prawn (M. rosenbergii) is a native of the rivers of Central Kerala and is one of the most suitable species for culture in fresh and low saline waters, either as a monoculture candidate or in polyculture along with carps, milkfish, gray mullet etc. Considerable potential for freshwater prawn farming exists in many parts of Kerala where waterlogged areas are available that are otherwise unsuitable for agriculture. The State has rich resources of wetlands, which remain fallow during major parts of the year. A majority of such areas could be brought under freshwater prawn farming to enhance production and productivity from these fallow water bodies.


Paddy cum fish/prawn culture

Rice and prawn integrated culture in alternate crops is an age-old practice in many Southeast Asian countries. Several successful trials have been conducted in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, which have proven their success. The rice cultivation and prawn culture are mutually beneficial, and enable to enhance the production from unit area without any ecological hazards. Steps should be taken to promote paddy cum fish/prawn culture in the state by suitably modifying the paddy fields wherever possible. The alternate or concurrent culture of rice and fish/prawn would serve to increase the income of farmers while economising the production. The use of fertilizers and pesticides could be eliminated by this system of crop management. The coastal belt of Kerala has a unique system of paddy cultivation in saline soils known locally as Pokkali cultivation. The term Pokkali refers to a salinity resistant rice variety largely cultivated  in Central Kerala especially in the Ernakulam district. Pokkali cultivation is fast losing ground due to the non-profitability of operations arising out of low yielding varieties of paddy and the high cost of labour involved. The saline resistant, tall variety of paddy cultivated in pokkali lands offers a unique opportunity to culture freshwater prawns simultaneous with the paddy crop during June to October. The cultivation of high value freshwater prawns along with paddy would make the culture system more sustainable, eco-friendly and economical. The farming of prawns along with Pokkali is mutually beneficial. Left over feed and the excreta of the prawn will act as manure for the paddy, and paddy plants will act as a biofilm for the development of periphyton, which constitute an ideal feed component for the prawn.

Ornamental fish culture

The state has a rich resource of indigenous ornamental fish in various river systems that have the potential to earn income to the state. Among these fishes, a few like Puntius denisoni are very valuable in the international market. Indiscriminate collection of these fish from the wild is a threat to the biodiversity. A certification system should be introduced for the export of indigenous fishes, to the effect that only captive bred and reared specimens are allowed to be shipped overseas. While regulating the export, the import norms of new varieties of aquarium fish need to be liberal. The nature and requirements of the world ornamental fish trade are quite dynamic. To be competent, new varieties need to be introduced in the international market. The exporter needs to be updated on the current trends and the varieties traded in the prevailing market. Hence, the licenses for importing ornamental fish need to be made liberal to facilitate breeding them in captivity in our local conditions and re-export. Importing limited number of brood stock should be permitted liberally after strict quarantine. Presently, Kerala exports only wild caught fish to the international market. Most of the other exotic ornamental fish are being exported from Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. This need a change and the priority should be shifted to exotic varieties and captive bred native fishes. The ornamental plants in aquarium involve a sizeable trade in the international market. These plants should be artificially propagated on a mass scale and explore the market possibilities.


Serious effort to protect the biodiversity is needed in the case of indigenous ornamental fishes and coldwater fishes. In addition there were several recent issues with regard to introduction of exotic species like the African catfish Clarius gariepineus, pacu, gar fish, etc. in Kerala, which has made its way into the country through Bangladesh, or through ornamental fish imports, and are now established in many parts of India. Their recent entry into the open water bodies of Kerala is a major threat to the State’s aquatic systems. Despite the abundance of rich freshwater resources including rivers, reservoirs, lakes etc. and the presence of two active monsoon periods, the impact of freshwater aquaculture in contributing to the food sector is far less compared to other states like Andhra Pradesh, where water is a scarce commodity. Suitable technologies and methods need to be devised to enhance production and productivity from inland aquaculture, while safeguarding the environment. This would bring about substantial increase in the number of jobs in inland aquaculture. Freshwater fish culture could also serve to enhance depleted wild fish stocks thereby increasing the value of commercial landings for fishermen and enriching the State’s aquatic inland resources. Paddy cum fish/prawn culture and cage or pen culture of prawns in reservoirs and other suitable water bodies appear to have great potential in augmenting the production from freshwater aquaculture. Since paddy is intimately associated with the life in Kerala, being the staple food, its integration with fish and prawn thereby catering to both domestic as well as export markets could have great influence on the nutrition of the population, apart from increased exports.

Aquaculture Feed Market Is Thriving Worldwide

logoThe market Study is segmented by key regions which is accelerating the marketization. At present, the market is developing its presence and some of the key players from the complete study are Tetra, UPEC, Canadian Aquatic Feed, Coppens International BV, Ocean Star International (OSI), Hikari, JBL, Sera, Ocean Nutrition, Marubeni Nisshin Feed, Aqua One, Dongpinghu Feed, Inch-Gold Fish, Sanyou Chuangmei, Beijing New Rainbow Feed Industries, Cargill, SunSun, Kaytee, Aqueon, Porpoise Aquarium & Haifeng Feeds etc.  This report studies the Global Aquaculture Feed market size, industry status and forecast, competition landscape and growth opportunity. This research report categorizes the Global Aquaculture Feed market by companies, region, type and end-use industry. 

Browse 100+ market data Tables and Figures spread through Pages and in-depth TOC on " Aquaculture Feed Market by Type (, Product Type Segmentation, Live food & Processed food), by End-Users/Application ( ), Organization Size, Industry, and Region - Forecast to 2023". Early buyers will receive 10% customization on comprehensive study.  In order to get a deeper view of Market Size, competitive landscape is provided i.e. Revenue (Million USD) by Players (2013-2018), Revenue Market Share (%) by Players (2013-2018) and further a qualitative analysis is made towards market concentration rate, product/service differences, new entrants and the technological trends in future. 

Competitive Analysis:
The key players are highly focusing innovation in production technologies to improve efficiency and shelf life. The best long-term growth opportunities for this sector can be captured by ensuring ongoing process improvements and financial flexibility to invest in the optimal strategies. Company profile section of players such as Tetra, UPEC, Canadian Aquatic Feed, Coppens International BV, Ocean Star International (OSI), Hikari, JBL, Sera, Ocean Nutrition, Marubeni Nisshin Feed, Aqua One, Dongpinghu Feed, Inch-Gold Fish, Sanyou Chuangmei, Beijing New Rainbow Feed Industries, Cargill, SunSun, Kaytee, Aqueon, Porpoise Aquarium & Haifeng Feeds includes its basic information like legal name, website, headquarters, its market position, historical background and top 5 closest competitors by Market capitalization / revenue along with contact information. Each player/ manufacturer revenue figures, growth rate and gross profit margin is provided in easy to understand tabular format for past 5 years and a separate section on recent development like mergers, acquisition or any new product/service launch etc. 

Market Segments:
The Global Aquaculture Feed Market has been divided into type, application, and region.
On The Basis Of Type: , Product Type Segmentation, Live food & Processed food.
On The Basis Of Application:  
On The Basis Of Region, this report is segmented into following key geographies, with production, consumption, revenue (million USD), and market share, growth rate of Aquaculture Feed in these regions, from 2013 to 2023 (forecast), covering 
• North America (U.S. & Canada) {Market Revenue (USD Billion), Growth Analysis (%) and Opportunity Analysis}
• Latin America (Brazil, Mexico & Rest of Latin America) {Market Revenue (USD Billion), Growth Share (%) and Opportunity Analysis}
• Europe (The U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden & RoE) {Market Revenue (USD Billion), Growth Share (%) and Opportunity Analysis}
• Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Rest of Asia) {Market Revenue (USD Billion), Growth Share (%) and Opportunity Analysis}
• Middle East & Africa (GCC, South Africa, North Africa, RoMEA) {Market Revenue (USD Billion), Growth Share (%) and Opportunity Analysis}
• Rest of World {Market Revenue (USD Billion), Growth Analysis (%) and Opportunity Analysis}

Introduction about Global Aquaculture Feed 

Global Aquaculture Feed Market Size (Sales) Market Share by Type (Product Category) in 2017 
Aquaculture Feed Market by Application/End Users 
Global Aquaculture Feed Sales (Volume) and Market Share Comparison by Applications
(2013-2023) table defined for each application/end-users like [ ] 
Global Aquaculture Feed Sales and Growth Rate (2013-2023) 
Aquaculture Feed Competition by Players/Suppliers, Region, Type and Application
Aquaculture Feed (Volume, Value and Sales Price) table defined for each geographic region defined. 
Global Aquaculture Feed Players/Suppliers Profiles and Sales Data 

Additionally Company Basic Information, Manufacturing Base and Competitors list is being provided for each listed manufacturers

Market Sales, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2013-2018) table for each product type which include , Product Type Segmentation, Live food & Processed food 
Aquaculture Feed Manufacturing Cost Analysis 
Aquaculture Feed Key Raw Materials Analysis 
Aquaculture Feed Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers, Industrial Chain Analysis 
Market Forecast (2018-2023) 

Improve basic infra for fishing in Uttara Andhra

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Out of 13 districts in Andhra Pradesh, 9 of them are in the coastal region. Except the four Rayalaseema districts of the State, the entire state from Itchapuram in Srikakulam to Tada in Nellore district, the State of AP owns the second largest coastal line in India spanning 974 kms. The coastal region of AP has vast potentiality for fish varieties like finfishes (84.5 per cent) and crustaceans 14.5 per cent.  AP registered a Gross Value Addition of 11.72 per cent to its economy in the first quarter of 2017–18 fiscal in which, fisheries sector alone contributed 42.09 per cent.The national GVA average for this period was only 5.6 per cent. AP is known for aquaculture and prawn culture alone recorded 66.86 per cent growth while marine fishing grew at 4.18 per cent.  While the agriculture and its allied sectors registered 26.21 per cent growth, industries sector declined from 10.49 per cent in Q1 of 2016–17 to 8.05 per cent and the service sector grew only by 8.67 per cent during this period. Fisheries alone could contribute a GVA of 42.09 per cent to State’s economy, contributing to overall growth of primary sector as per the government records. 

Krishna, East Godavari and Nellore are top contributors in this sector. It is unfortunate to note that the three Northern Coastal Uttara Andhra districts alone share 355 kms of coastal line. Although the growth appears very consistent, in real terms the growth in three Uttara Andhra districts is nominal for varieties of reasons.  The fishermen that hail from these districts are on constant move in search of opportunities, despite having plenty of fresh and salt water fisheries. The global fact books are showing India as the second largest producer of agricultural products, including fisheries and livestock, contributing 15 per cent, it is necessary to analyse why only a section of the Indian states or districts can provide employment and feed its people, while majority are reeling in hunger, poverty and unemployment.  The living standards of fishermen and fishing communities of Uttara Andhra is evident when the national and regional media reported the detention of 28 fishermen of Srikakulam in Pakistan for crossing the International marine waters of that country.  Although the act was not deliberate, the consequences are quite severe. 

Not finding enough fishing opportunities due to poor infrastructure in their region, fishermen of these districts in general and fishermen of Srikakulam in particular, are migrating to other parts of India, including Gujarat. Skilled migrated 30,000 Uttara Andhra fisherman are real backbone to Gujarat Rs 14,000 crore fishing industry.  As per my observation Uttara Andhra fisherman are highly skilled because they need it for their survival as there is no other option for their livelyhood. Migrated fisherman are employed on a contract basis for a period of one-year by paying certain fixed salaries, which may vary from Rs 7,000-12,000 a month. The sum will be paid in advance to their families and the men are forced to serve as bonded labor.  They should venture into sea irrespective of seasonal variation for fishing and are forced to live in mechanised fishing boats for an extended period, known for poor hygiene and absolute lack of facilities. Apart from bearing the atmospheric risks of marine water, these men are subjected to hardship like hunger, sleeplessness, and deprived of basic minimum facilities for a long time. Unable to clean their bodies and eat nutritious food, they are falling prey to skin diseases and psychological distress.  

Factors like extreme poverty, low rate of literacy and skills to pursue other jobs, no access to credit from organised financial institutions, lack of basic facilities like jetties, cold storage plants and fair mechanism to distribute their catch, fishermen of Uttara Andhra are subjected to physical and financial exploitation. Jetties in proposal at Budagatlapalem, Bhavanapadu, Rallapeta of Srikakulam district are pending for a long time.  Unable to spend on nets, mechanised boats they are venturing as fishermen on contract basis in other states. Apart from poor wages that is not enough to meet their family needs, these fishermen lack benefits like insurance in the eve of mishaps, medical facilities, pension, and welfare measures.  The national budget allocation to ‘Blue Revolution (fisheries) was a mere Rs 401 crore in 2017-18  as against  Rs 13,741 crore for Green Revolution and Rs 1,634 crore for white revolution. Marine sector could create vast employment opportunities in fish processing, packing, export, import, cleaning and processing.  Given the exclusive verities of fishes like  sardines, mackerel, ribbonfish, carangids (5.7 per cent), seerfish (3.6 per cent) and anchovies the major pelagic landed along the Andhra coast contribute greatly to the state and national economy. The tuna fishes of Visakhapatnam coast, particularly the yellowfin tuna possesses great commercial value. If the basic infrastructure for fishing is improved, this sector can stall the migration by generating at least 1,00,000 new jobs in this sector and can contribute additional Rs 10,000 crore yearly revenue to AP.