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Fish farmers told to follow protocols in biofloc tech

Fish farmers told to follow protocols in biofloc tech

The unscientific manner of practicing biofloc fish farming technology by many farmers may cause harm to their ventures, say experts from the ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA).

"Lured by videos on YouTube, many farmers have invested in the biofloc fish farming technology and have burnt their fingers. Biofloc is an onsite compact system through which even restaurants and residences can grow their own prawns," Kumaraguru Vasagam, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIBA told IANS.

He said the institute has been receiving reports of farmers incurring losses due to non-implementation of this technology in a proper manner.

"Aquaculture farmers in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and even in Delhi are using this technology," Vasagam added.

According to ICAR-CIBA, biofloc technology is one of the better scientific solutions for fish farming to those who lack adequate water resources like ponds, rivers and backwaters.

This technology made fish farming possible with setting up of a water tank within the premises of every household, opening up a sea of opportunities for young entrepreneurs in aquaculture.

Vasagam said under this technology, the food and fish waste in the tank are converted into nutrient feed and the water is also purified with useful bacteria.

This farming technology specially focuses on the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) for promotion across the country.

"Before adopting the new technology, people should give their mind and effort to understand the science behind this technology as even narrow deviations from its protocols for immediate profits could result in heavy losses. It is a double-edged sword," CIBA Director KK Vijayan said.

"This system requires greater control over the rearing system with a cautious effort to keep a range of components such as adequate carbon-nitrogen ratios, aeration, power back-up, microbes and planktons, among many others, on a biological balance," Vijayan said, adding that by keeping all this in a balanced mode, biofloc technology could be used as the most sought-after green technology for seafood production.

Meanwhile, ICAR-CIBA has transferred its technology 'CIBAFLOC', a ready-made inoculum (mixture of beneficial bacteria for biofloc development) to Salem Microbes Pvt Ltd for commercial operations.

Being the first of its kind in the country, this product would make the biofloc practice more farmer-friendly and easier in adhering to the scientific principles, said CP Balasubramanian, Head of Crustacean Culture division of ICAR-CIBA. The ICAR-CIBA also organised a webinar on this technology recently.

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