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ICAR-CMFRI Celebrates 70th Foundation Day

ICAR-CMFRI Celebrates 70th Foundation Day
Wonders of marine biodiversity exhibited at Open House programmes

The ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) celebrated 70th foundation day on 3rd February 2017, by conducting the Open House, an exhibition-cum-education programme, at its Headquarters in Kochi and all the Regional Research Centres. The Open House helped students of schools and colleges and the public to enjoy the rare privilege of getting a ringside view of the wonders and secrets of marine biodiversity.

Nearly 4.000 people visited at the Headquarters of the institute located in Kochi, Kerala to watch in awe the splendours of aquatic organisms in the sea and to understand the latest developments in marine fisheries research. As part of the programme, the National Marine Biodiversity Museum, various state-of-the-art laboratories, marine research aquarium, Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC) and hatcheries were opened to the public at the Headquarters. Information service was provided at the all exhibition stalls arranged under the aegis of 10 Divisions of ICAR-CMFRI. The museum, which is designated as the National Repository by the Union Government, was the main attraction to the visitors. Around 1137 finfish species, 153 crustaceans, 487 molluscs, 49 echinoderms, 198 corals and sponges, 91 seaweeds and 233 various other specimens make up the collection in the museum. The Antarctic krills, horse shoe crab, sea snakes, sea birds, pearl oyster, sea cow, sharks, penguin and dolphins were the main attraction at the marine biodiversity museum, which is designated as the National Repository by the Union government. The krills are the most favourite food item for blue whales and dolphins.

The visitors also displayed keen interest in understanding the functioning of the fish ageing laboratory situated at the Headquarters. The laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment to find out the age of the fishes and the scientists explained to the visitors the various stages involved in the process. Models of cage fish farming, aquaponics, ornamental fish farming, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) etc. were demonstrated to the public. The visitors also interacted with the scientists and engaged in discussions on the issues and challenges being faced by the marine fishery of the country. Laboratories related to molecular biology, bioprospecting, cell culture, fishery biology, environmental research, climate change, ocean acidification etc. also were opened to the public during the programme. 

Foundation day was also celebrated in all the Regional Research Centres located in Veraval, Mumbai, Karwar, Mangalore, Calicut, Vizhinjam, Chennai, Tuticorin, Mandapam and Visakhapatnam, and the Field Centre in Puri and the KVK of ICAR-CMFRI in Ernakulum by conducting similar Open House programmes, attracting the public to view and understand the research activities of the institute.

Dr. S. D .Tripati, Former Director of CIFE was chief guest at the Mumbai Research Centre of the ICAR-CMFRI. Students of schools and colleges, fishers, officials, stakeholders and faculty members from various colleges visited various laboratories and museum at the Centre. Students from 12 schools and local enthusiasts visited the museum, instrument laboratories and biogas plant at the Manglore Research Centre. A documentary film on the secrets of marine life and a short film on activities of the Mangalore RC were also screened for the public. The marine research aquarium named ‘sagarika’ was the key attraction at the Vizhinjam Research Centre where eminent fishery scientists delivered talks on the various phases of marine fisheries research in the country.

The Open House programme, organised at the Calicut Research Centre, evoked excellent response and more than 1000 students from various schools and colleges, besides the general public visited laboratories, marine fish farm, marine research aquarium and marine biology museum.

The Karwar Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI created public awareness on marine cage farming, nursery rearing, Recirculating Aquacutlure System etc. during the foundation day programme.

More than 2,000 students from the schools and colleges visited the aquarium and museum at the Mandapam RC of the institute. Awareness on marine resource conservation, biodiversity issues, mariculture and aquarium keeping was given to the students. Dr Paul Pandian, Fisheries Development Commissioner, Govt. of India was one of the guests at the foundation day programme organised at the Veraval Research Centre.

The Visakhapatnam Research Centre focussed on providing awareness on Recirculatory Aquaculture System (RAS) to the visitors of the institute during the Open House programme.

An elocution competition on the topic ‘Green Energy-Opportunities and Challenges’ was conducted at the Tuticorin Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI as part of the programme. Drawing competition on marine biodiversity and its conservation was also conducted in addition to the Open House at the Centre. The Chennai Research Centre helped the participants understand the ongoing research activities of the Centre through interaction with the scientists of pelagic, demersal, crustacean and molluscan fisheries divisions. The cashless mechanism facility installed at the Sale Counter of Krishi Vigyan Kendera of ICAR-CMFRI in Ernakulam was explained to the public and students with a request to utilize cashless transactions as far as possible. 

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Foundation day Celebration at various centres
1.Mandapam Regional centre
2.Mangalore Research Centre
3.Visakhapatnam Regional centre
4.Vizhinjam Research Centre
5.Tuticorin Research Centre

Successful breeding and larval rearing of Sea-goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis at Vizhinjam RC of CMFRI

Successful breeding and larval rearing of Sea-goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis at Vizhinjam RC of CMFRI.

Sea-goldie, Pseudanthias squamipinnis (Peters, 1855) with vibrant pink shade belonging to subfamily Anthiinae (family: Serranidae) is a highly sought after marine ornamental fish. Successful captive brood stock development, spawning, and larval rearing are achieved at Vizhinjam Research Centre of ICAR-CMFRI.  Brood stock was developed in a 5-ton recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) using 12 wild caught juveniles. Eggs were of size 650 µ, They hatched out after an incubation period of about 12-14 hours at a water temperature of 29 ℃. By 35th day they reached the juvenile stage. 


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Ernakulam KVK Promoting Startups in Aquaculture

Ernakulam KVK Promoting Startups in Aquaculture

The capacity enhancement training by the Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of ICAR-CMFRI is all set to provide technical support to the youngsters to become entrepreneurs in aquaculture.

The month-long training course titled Aquaculture Technician is in the final stage to impart skill development training on various stages of the farming practices to the selected 20 interested youngsters in aquaculture. 

The skill development course, which was started on 27 in February with the support of the National Skill Development Corporation under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, is aimed at developing farming and entrepreneurial skills among the youth for promoting startups in the diversified aquaculture. The area of training includes different farming practices such as cage fish farming, fresh water and brackishwater farming, mussel farming, shrimp farming, crab farming, lobster farming and oyster farming etc.  In addition, training on water quality tests, disease surveillance, feed formulation, live feed culture, hatchery management, seed production of pearl spot (karimeen), value addition, aquarium keeping, packing methods, fish marketing and entrepreneurship was also included in the course curriculum.

The participants are being enriched with practical lessons through field visits, interaction with farmers, cage fabrication, pond preparation and instrument operation etc besides the technical classes led by experts from CMFRI, CIFT, MPEDA, CUSAT and KUFOS.  

After the successful completion of the course on March 25, the participants will be permitted to work as individual consultants to cater to the needs of aqua-farmers with the support of KVK.  After the training, an aqua-task force of skilled youngsters will be formulated to help the farmers and ensure qualitative standards of aquaculture.  KVK has already got a Kadamakkudy Matsya Krishi Karma Sena (aqua-task force) in Pizhala, which is functioning in a similar way under the young farmer Theruviparambil Sreekumar with the support of KVK.

The skill development training will give a big boost to the fish and shrimp farming. The technical course will help in empowering the youngsters to become entrepreneurs in aquaculture at a time when the capture fishery is passing through a stagnation period. The programme will definitely open the prospects of startups in aqua-farming sector too. The long -term objective of conducting this one-month course is to create employment opportunities in the field of aqua farming. The participants were selected from the applications received for the entrance to the course.   

Dr Shinoj Subramannian, Head of KVK and Dr. P A Vikas, Subject Matter Specialist in Fisheries are coordinating the training programme. The participants will be given certificates issued by the National Skill Development Corporation after the completion of the course, enabling them to become the government recognised aqua-consultants. 

The training programme is implemented through the selected KVKs in the country. Ernakulam KVK is among the two selected KVKs in Kerala, Malappuram being the other. The programme is a part of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), a unique initiative by the Government of India that aims to offer 24 lakh Indian youth meaningful, industry relevant, skill based training. PMKVY was envisaged as a key measure to impart skills-based training to the youth, making them capable of earning and supporting the country’s anti-poverty endeavours.
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Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi Appreciates ICAR-CMFRI’s Mobile App technology for Fishermen

Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi Appreciates ICAR-CMFRI’s Mobile App technology for Fishermen

Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi has appreciated the mobile advisory service, mKRISHI®Fisheries, developed by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

In his Mann Ki Baat address on February 26, 2017,  the Prime Minister termed the technology as innovation for poor fishermen and went on to say that the mobile App is simple but with a powerful impact on fishermen community. He further said the mobile App could be utilised by the fishermen for moving to those areas with maximum fish presence in a very short time and thus earning their livelihood.

“When a fisherman goes to sea, the App is able to provide guidance to direction to locate the most productive fishing zones and also provide multifarious types of information such as the direction and speed of the wind, the height of the waves and so on”, the Prime Minister said.

mKRISHI®Fisheries App provides information on Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) generated by INCOIS, sea surface temperature, weather and the presence of phytoplankton which form the food of several fish species based on the remote sensing data received from NOAA and Indian satellites.

The app consolidates these information and presents advisories in local languages, with easy to use icons on Java and Android mobile phones. In addition, the app, which is a result of multi-dimensional research and field work of experts from the ICAR-CMFRI, INCOIS and TCS, was adjudged among the 20 best Social Innovations in the country by the Ministry of External Affairs and NITI Ayog.

The technology had won a place in the prestigious National Contest on Social Innovation 2016 hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs along with NITI Ayog. The app was listed among the 20 top social innovations selected from a total of 774 applications.  The ICAR-CMFRI has already piloted this service in 56 fishermen societies in Maharashtra.

The App is widely being used among the fishermen to plan their fishing activities. The information on the presence of potential fishing zone has helped fishers reduce unnecessary trips and the associated cost of diesel, ice and labour. Fishermen are advised to go only when the information map on the app is blue in colour.  The app will predict five days upfront forecast which will help even trawlers who go for multi-day fishing trips.  

Lack of data signal availability in deep sea was a major challenge for the fishermen. However, TCS and Tata Teleservices conducted a pilot to extend the mobile signal upto 30 km in the deep sea in Raigad district of Maharashtra. This helped the fishermen for price negotiation while they were in the sea itself and the fresh catch could be directed to desired port, optimizing the overall transportation.  

The ICAR-CMFRI, in collaboration with TCS, is planning to reach out to more fishermen societies under Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav (MGMG) initiative. 

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Dissemination of seaweed farming technology to progressive marine fishers of Andaman Nicobar Islands by CMFRI

Dissemination of seaweed farming technology to progressive marine fishers of Andaman Nicobar Islands by CMFRI

As a part of exposure-cum-study tour, 13 progressive marine fishers and two field officials, Directorate of Fisheries, Andaman & Nicobar Administration visited Mandapam Regional Centre on 21st February 2017. Earlier, the CMFRI has provided practical training on methods of the seaweed farming practices to the officials of the Department of Fisheries, Andaman during 2- 4, August 2016 at Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI, Mandapam. In continuation of that through this study tour, marine fishers interacted with the scientists about seaweed farming and also had an exposure on making floating rafts with bamboo, tying of seed material (seaweed fragments) in the rope, tying of seeded rope along the length of the bamboo raft and positioning them in the sea. Dr.Johnson,B., Scientist coordinated the activity.

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Revenue generation through cage farming of cobia at Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI

Revenue generation through cage farming of cobia at  Mandapam Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI 

As a part of revenue generation, hatchery produced cobia fingerlings were stocked in a cage during the visit of Dr.A.Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI to Regional Centre of ICAR-CMFRI, Mandapam in the year 2016. Though we lost many farmed fishes including brooders due to the incidence of Trichodesmium bloom twice in the year 2016, we could harvest a quantity of 1,715 kg of cobia fishes on 20th February 2017. They were sold at a farm gate price of Rs.270/ kg and a gross revenue of Rs.4,63,050/- was generated and deposited in the ICAR unit-MRC of CMFRI account.

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CMFRI Receives ‘Cashless ICAR Institute Award’

CMFRI Receives ‘Cashless ICAR Institute Award’

Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) received ‘Cashless ICAR Institute Award’ from Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, for implementing cashless transactions in the institute. The award comprises the citation and a cheque of Rs. 5 lakhs.

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ernakulam of the CMFRI also received the award with a cheque of Rs. 50,000. Dr. Srinath Dixit, Director, Agricultural Technology Applications Research Institute (ATARI) received the award for the KVK, Ernakulam from the Union Minister. 


cashless.jpgDr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, CMFRI receiving the Cashless ICAR Institute Award from
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

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Kerala Governor Inaugurates Platinum Jubilee celebrations of ICAR-CMFRI

Kerala Governor Inaugurates Platinum Jubilee celebrations of ICAR-CMFRI
CMFRI announces new research programmes

Hon’ble Kerala Governor Justice P Sathasivam inaugurated the year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) on February 18. In his speech, the Governor called upon the scientific community to address the issues being faced by the fishermen and fish farming community while carrying out research in fisheries sector. The research activities and policies should be helpful to improve the livelihood of fisher folks and fish farmers, he said.  

“No scientific organisation can succeed by remaining alienated from the people. CMFRI should be committed to the welfare of the fisher folk by helping to ensure sustainable fisheries through participatory mode. Researchers should increase their interaction with such communities and improve their awareness about opportunities for sustainable livelihood”, the Governor added.

“Ensuring the health of the sea has to be the top priority to maintain the sustainability of fisheries. Scientists should focus on research activities aimed at solving the issues being faced by the marine biodiversity. More inter-sectoral cooperation and utilisation of useful traditional knowledge are required for this”, he said adding that research institutes like CMFRI should also increase the employment of a biotechnological approach to enlarge fisheries and other related products.

He appreciated the efforts of ICAR- CMFRI for promoting open sea cage farming across the country. The development of hatchery technologies would also help to increase people’s participation and ensure better results in fish production, he said.

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Products and Research Reports Released

The Governor released a marine fisheries policy brief prepared by the CMFRI which highlights the global status of fishing using lights as an attractant and scientific stance on light fishing, giving recommendations for its management and regulations in Indian waters. The Non-Detriment Findings (NDF) study report prepared by CMFRI for export of shark and ray species listed in Appendix II of the CITES was also released during the function.

The Governor also released Cadalmin Anti-Hyper Cholestrolemic Extract, a neutraceutical product developed by CMFRI for obesity and launched the mobile app named ‘Fish Finder Version1’ to identify the fish varieties.

CMFRI’s handbook on application of GIS as a tool in marine fisheries research, a manuel on methodological tools for socio-economic and policy analysis in marine fisheries and of six video CDs on gender mainstreaming series on Self Help Group success stories on cage farming, chinese dipnet, aquatourism, clam Processing etc were also released by Justice Sathasivam during the function.

The special postal cover issued by the Indian Postal Department labelling CMFRI’s name in connection with the Platinum Jubilee was released by the Governor.
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Dr J K Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi presided over the function. He stressed the need for strengthening regulations in order to conserve the fisheries resources and maintain the sustainability in the sector. Dr A Jayathilak, IAS, Chairman of MPEDA offered felicitation.

Director Dr A Gopalakrishnan announced the future research plans of the CMFRI. Sumathi Ravichandran, Postmaster General (Kerala), Central Region, Kochi and Dr G Maheswarudu attended the function. 

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ICAR-CMFRI announces new research programmes

In connection with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the ICAR-CMFRI announced new research programmes to be carried out in immediate future. The institute will carry out a major research project to address the impacts, vulnerability and adaptation strategies of climate change in marine fisheries of the country. This is part of the Third National Communication (TNC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt of India. The report is expected to be finalised by the end of the year-long platinum jubilee celebration of the institute.

Another major programme which ICAR-CMFRI envisages is a revolutionary research programme on developing the breeding, seed production and farming technology of tuna, a major transboundary resource that is being cultured in far eastern countries.  ICAR-CMFRI plans to conduct the study for exploiting the growing international tuna market.

The ICAR-CMFRI will submit Mariculture Policy guidelines to the Union Government. With the capture fisheries hovering at potential level, not much production is anticipated from fishing. But the thrust is to utilize the coastal water bodies for mariculture related activities for enhancing production.

Another major milestone during the platinum jubilee year is the development of pelagic fish biomass estimation model for the effective management of pelagic fishery of the country with the support of satellite remote sensing technology. The ongoing Chlorophyll based Remote Sensing assted Indian Fisheries Forecasting System (ChloRIFFS) will be utilised for the research programme.  Dr Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI elucidated the future plans during the inaugural ceremony of Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

ICAR-CMFRI at a Glance

Established as a Marine Fisheries Research Station on February 3 in 1947 in Madras, the institute joined Indian Council Agricultural Research, (ICAR) family in 1967 and started functioning as a premier research establishment to undertake marine fisheries research in the country.

Apart from estimation of marine fish landings, its valuation and taxonomic studies, the research activities of CMFRI are diversified to a variety of niche areas such as sea farming and coastal mariculture, development of hatchery technologies for commercially viable marine fish species, cage farming, biotechnological applications of marine resources, biodiversity studies, development of sustainable ecosystem management interventions, policy studies, socio-economic evaluation and so on. Apart from the Headquarters, the ICAR-CMFRI, country’s national R&D body in marine fisheries, has 11 Regional Research Centres located respectively at Mandapam Camp, Visakhapatnam, Veraval, Mumbai, Chennai, Calicut, Karwar, Tuticorin, Vizhinjam, Mangalore and Digha, in addition to 15 field centres throughout the coastal belts of the country and one KVK at Narakkal, Ernakulum. A number of 154 scientists and over 600 other staff are working at the CMFRI in as many as 10 research Divisions.

Over the past seven decades, the institute has grown significantly in size and stature emerging as a leading tropical marine fisheries research institute in the world displaying an unparalleled research acumen and unbridled commitment which helped in developing sustainable management of marine production and responsible governance of the fisheries sector.

National Training in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology for fisheries professionals

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ICAR-CMFRI develops anti-obesity medicine from seaweed

ICAR-CMFRI develops anti-obesity medicine from seaweed

In a major advancement in the natural health care industry of the country, the Kochi headquartered ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed an anti-obesity nutraceutical from seaweeds. The product named CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract (CadalminTM ACe) is a natural remedy for obesity and dyslipidemia. ICAR-CMFRI scientists prepared the extract from seaweeds which are commonly available in the Indian coastal waters and are natural bounty of the sea and are known for their extraordinary medicinal properties.

Dr Kajal Chakraborty, Senior Scientist in Marine Biotechnology Division of ICAR-CMFRI, who developed the product said bioactive pharmacophore leads from seaweeds were used to prepare the nutraceutical product. “CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract can be administered to regulate clinical indicators leading to dyslipidemia or obesity, total adipose tissue and visceral fat, triglycerides, cholesterol, both good and bad, known as HDL and LDL. The product contains 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from selected seaweeds by a patented technology, and would be made available in 400 mg capsules”, he said.

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CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic, an anti-obesity nutraceutical product developed by ICAR-CMFRI
   

“The nutraceutical does not have any side effects as established by detailed preclinical trials. CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract is the only product made by 100% natural marine bioactive ingredients from seaweeds as a natural remedy of obesity and dyslipidemia, as far as our knowledge goes” Dr Chakraborty added.

Dr P Vijayagopal, Head, Marine Biotechnology Division said that the active ingredients in the product would be packed in plant-based capsules to meet the dietary needs of the large vegetarian population in India and abroad. “CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract has a promising consumer appeal, and market potential especially for the large vegetarian population in India and abroad”, he added.

“Large scale extraction of the active principles from the raw material was optimized in a factory unit. The total yield of the active principles from the raw material in the factory unit was found to be greater than 20%, which demonstrated the commercial feasibility of the nutraceutical product. The product is being out-licensed to a pharmaceutical company”, he said.

4th Nutraceutical Product from ICAR-CMFRI

CadalminTM Antihypercholesterolemic extract is the fourth in the series of the nutraceutical products developed by the ICAR-CMFRI. Two anti-arthritic and one anti-diabetic nutraceutical products are the other three products developed by the institute in the past.  All these technologies have been commercialized through pharmaceutical companies.

According to Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR- CMFRI the institute is in the process of developing more health products from the underutilized seaweeds. “The ICAR-CMFRI is also in the process of standardizing and promoting seaweed farming all along the Indian coasts as a livelihood option for the coastal communities. This is expected to compensate for the dip in income for the fishermen during lean seasons”, Dr Gopalakrishnan said.

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