Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Recirculation Aquaculture System - RAS
  • Marine Finfish larviculture facility at Mandapam
  • Marine Hatchery complex at Mandapam
  • Indoor Live Feed Culture facility
  • National Marine Fish Brood Bank

Home Mariculture DIVISION

Thrust areas of research

Evolve technologies for broodstock raising and seed production of prioritized fish species
Diversify production systems for food fishes and ornamental fishes (Cage, Pen, Raft, RAS, Tanks, Coastal ponds, Integration, Conservation)
Mariculture nutrition(artificial and live feeds), biosecurity and health, genetics, and habitats
Develop spatial plans, automation and digital technologies for mariculture
Demonstration, skilling, knowledge dissemination and consultancies


Ongoing Research Projects:


Project title & Code

Present Status/ Remarks


Development of hatchery technologies for commercially important species in mariculture (MDN/HCY/18)

In-house project 2017-2024

Development of sustainable mariculture practices through technological innovations in cage and coastal farming (MDN/SMP/19).

In-house project 2020-2025

Analysis of reproductive characteristics of selected potential species for mariculture (MDN/REP/20).

In-house project 2017-2024

Assessing the performance of artificial reefs deployed along Tamil Nadu Coast (MDN/AR/21).

In-house project 2020-2023

Delineating the compensatory growth pattern in stunted fingerlings of marine finfishes for production enhancement (MDN/GRO/22).

In-house project 2017-2023

All India Network Project on Mariculture

Sponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant)ICAR- 2017-2023
7Production, Nano-delivery and validation of viral vaccine against nodavirus of fishSponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant)DBT -2019-2022
8 Re-circulatory Aquaculture System for nursery rearing of marine finfish: Development and DemonstrationSponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant)NFDB- 2020-2022
9Developing a New Candidate Species for Mariculture: Marine Finfish John’s Snapper, LutjanusjohniiSponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant)DBT -2020-2023
10Sea ranching of Green tiger shrimp (P. semisulcatus) Post larvae (PL) in Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu, for sustainable shrimp productionSponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant) MoFAHD 2022-2026
11Computer vision based monitoring of fishes in marine cage farmingSponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant) iHubDrishtu Foundation, IIT Jodhpur 2023-2025
12Standardization of mass production and evaluation of resting egg production in tropical marine copepods for the use of live feed for fish larval rearing Sponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant) DBT 2023-2026
13Development of breeding and supply center for damsel fishes Sponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant) BIRAC- 2022-2024
14Development of seed production technology for the high value marine food fish, the Giant Trevally, Caranxignobilis to enhance the sea food production and nutritional security Sponsored (Externally funded/ Competitive grant) DBT 2023-2026
15Identification of sites for deployment of Artificial Reefs in Gaja Cyclone affected districts of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Thiruvarur of Tamil Nadu. On-going consultancy project DoF, TN 2020 --2023
16Identification of sites for deployment of Artificial Reefs in Gaja Cyclone affected Ramanathapuram and Pudhukottai districts of Tamil Nadu. On-going consultancy project DoF, TN 2020 --2023
17 Identification of sites for deployment of Artificial Reefs in Gaja Cyclone affected Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. On-going consultancy project DoF, TN 2020- -2023
18SCSP Ongoing Scheme ICAR
19TSP Ongoing Scheme ICAR

Significant Achievements

Developed and disseminated technologies/ package of practices for seed production and farming of five food fish species (Cobia: Rachycentroncanadum; Indian pompano: Trachinotus mookalee; Silver pompano: Trachinotus blochii; Orange spotted grouper: Epinephelus coioides; John’s snapper: Lutjanus johnii).
Standardized 11 fish culture systems (HDPE Frame Cage: Circular, 6 m diameter and 4 m depth; GI Frame Cage: Circular, 6 m diameter and 4 m depth; GI Square Coastal Cage: 4 m diameter x 4 m depth; Mono-line Seaweed Farming; Raft Culture of Seaweed; Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA); Mussel farming (Mono-line and Raft culture); Coastal Pond Farming; Pen culture, Lobster farming, Re-circulatory Aquaculture System)
Disseminated technologies for breeding and rearing of 11 ornamentals (Amphiprion percula; A. ocellaris, A. frenatus; A. sebae, A. nigripes, A. ephippium, A. perideraion, A. clarkii, A. akallopisos, A. sandaracinos, Premnas biaculeatus )
Developed pure stock and technologies for mass culture of nine copepod species (Parvocalanus crassirostris; Bestiolina similis; B. coreana; Oithona brevicornis; Dioithona oculata, Acartia southwelli, A. tropica, A. bilobata, Apocyclops cmfri) as live feed.
Broodstock and seed production technologies standardized for nine food fish species (Lethrinus nebulosus, Lethrinus lentjan, Pomadasys furcatus, Acanthopagrus berda, Sparidentexjamalensis, Siganusvermiculatus, Thenusunimaculatus,Petrarctusrugosus, Psettodeserumei) and 21 ornamentals (Chrysiptera hemicyanea, C. cyanea, C. unimaculata Pycnochromis retrofasciatus, Pseudanthias squamipinnis, P. marcia, Amblyglyphidodon indicus, Pomacentrus caeruleus, P. pavo, Chromisviridis, Neopamacentru nemurus, N. filamentosus, N. cyanomos, , Pseudochromis dilectus, Dacyllus carneus, D. trimaculatus, D. auranus, Chromis viridis, Nemateleotris decora, Camel shrimp, Carpet anemone)
Standardized Mono-line Seaweed Farming, Raft Culture of Seaweeds and Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (fish + Seaweed).
Standardized larval rearing protocol and Re-circulatory Aquaculture System (RAS) based nursery for Cobia, Silver pompano,Indian pompano, Orange spotted grouper, John’s snapper.
Captive breeding technologies standardized for Oryzeas dancena and O. setnai for use as model fish in marine research.
Developed technology for mass culture and harvest of micro algae, Nannochloropsis gaditana, in land based open raceways.
Developed and released a multi-strain probiotic consortium (ICAR-CMFRI-MMC) as a potential supplementary diet for marine finfishes in nursery and grow out farming stages.
Identified 317 potential seaweed farming sites (23,970 ha area) and 131 potential cage culture sites (46,823 ha area) along Indian maritime waters andwere delineated through Spatial Model Optimization.
One hundred and fifty five Artificial Reefs, deployed along the territorial waters and studies showed an increase in fish production worth Av. Rs. 2.5 million/ site/year from the reefs.
About 5300 persons were trained/ skilled in areas of Sea cage farming, Re-circulatory Aquaculture Systems, Seaweed farming, Breeding and seed production, Live feed culture, IMTA, Mussel farming, Sustainable mariculture, Ornamental fish farming, Artificial reef deployment and conducted >500 demonstrations in last five years.


  • Low cost semi-automatic feed dispenser (10 kg capacity) fabricated and demonstrated in farmer’s sea cage.
  • Developed data base of biochemical composition and sex steroid hormone profile of important fish species in mariculture
  • Prototype of RAS based marine microbial consortium with bio-filtration units developedMarine probiotic consortiafor ammonia reduction in culture media and vibriocidal activity in fishes developed
  • Finfish immunization protocol with a multivalent Vibrio vaccine (Vibrio alginolyticus, V. parahemolyticusand V. harveyi) applied through immersion method
  • Good Aquaculture Practice (GAqP) developed for Indian Pompano and Orange Spotted Grouper
  • Incremental research for diversifying production systems (pond, raft, pen, cage, RAS, etc.); scaling up cage culture (15 m dia. cages)
  • Artificial feed (attractants, low volume-high nutrition, medicated feeds, micro algae powder and algal paste, feeddelivery mechanisms and automation)
  • Recorded high survival and growth rate of Indian Pompano, Trachinotusmookalee supplemented with indigenously developed Marine Microbial Consortium (ICAR-CMFRI-MMC) which exhibits vibriocidal activity too
  • Marine micro-algal culture for human consumption
  • Genomic studies and Selective breeding for useful traits (Pompano)
  • Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture (EAA) with one health approach
  • Food safety, GAP, bio-security (fish immunization, SPF, SPR, SPT seeds)
  • Research on value chain approach (Food and ornamental fishes)
  • Climate change on biology of species; mariculture system stability; engineering challenges
  • Assessment of carrying capacity and spatial planning
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