The cage fish farming ventures of both the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos) and the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) are in trouble after massive flood in the state. The commercially expensive fish like Sea Bass, Red Snapper, and Pearl Spot have gone missing in the floods at a time when the farmers were about to reap the fishes before Onam festival. According to CMFRI, they faced loss worth Rs 4 crore in Thrissur and Ernakulam regions.
Head of Mariculture division of CMFRI, Imelda Joseph told about 300 cages got submerged under the mud-spattered waters. Pizhala Island, which is considered as a model village in cage fish farming experienced huge loss when all its 200 units got washed away. In another incident, a farmer PD Jensen of Puthenvelikkara village had lost approximately one lakh fish supply worth Rs 60 lakh.
As per Daisy C Kappen, Director of Extension, Kufos was helping around 63 self-help groups to set-up pen and cage culture units in several villages of Ernakulam.
Director, CMFRI A Gopalakrishnan said that lack of proper insurance in the cage fish farming industry has become a big obstacle. He further said “This issue should be seriously addressed at least in the wake of this extreme situation. We are looking into mechanisms by which we can support the issues related to cage fish farming when flooded conditions occur”.
Moreover a detailed report will be made and submitted to the government seeking all kinds of help and support to re-establish the units, said a senior official from Kufos.