Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana achieved another milestone of breeding Pangas catfish successfully in Punjab. Dr. Meera D. Ansal, Head Department of aquaculture said that Pangas is an exotic fish without any intramuscular spines having high demand among Punjabis.
It is a cold sensitive species, not able to survive below 200C during winters. Hence, it is being reared in coastal states, where the temperature rarely falls to critical levels. Presently, iced Pangas is transported form Andhara Pradesh to almost all northern states. It sells like hot cakes in Punjab fish markets after crossing a distance of about 1900 km. It is a potential diversification species for enhancing aquaculture productivity (3 times), besides doubling farmer’s income.
GADVASU had already standardized Pangas culture technology with an average productivity of 17 tons/hectare and net income of over 5 lakhs in just 6 months. Climate of Punjab is suitable for Pangas culture for a period of 7-8 months from March/April to October/November. The major bottle neck in promoting Pangas culture in northern states is non-availability of seed.
As Pangas breeds after attaining 3 years of age, hatcheries for seed production are developed in regions having no winter season. Taking up the challenge, GADVASU not only succeeded in developing 4 years+ brood stock of Pangas through technological interventions, including overwintering under poly house conditions, but also succeeded in breeding the fish in Punjab through induced breeding technology, under farmer participatory mode with progressive fish farmer, Ranjodh Singh of Village Nanokey, District Patiala. It is for the first time that breeding of Pangas has been successful in non coastal northern region of the country.
According to the scientist involved in culture and breeding of Pangas catfish, Dr. S. N. Dutta, said that breakthrough has opened new window of possibility of developing Pangas catfish hatcheries in Punjab and availability of seed within the state will promote Pangas catfish culture on commercial Dr. Meera informed that Pangas catfish is an excellent species for developing value added products without much processing hassles and hence, farmers are also motivated to take up Pangas catfish culture as a cluster activity, associated with small scale processing units at farmer level. She further added that Pangas production within the State will supply fresh (live) fish of high value in terms of quality and food safety, as compared to preserved fish transported from far off states.