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Fisheries > Culture Fisheries > Seafishes >Milkfish

Seed Collection

Since milkfish does not mature and breed in confined waters and culture ponds, development of a hatchery technology has been difficult. However, induced breeding has been successfully carried out in this species, but the final survival rate has been less and hatchery operations hence are not economical. In this respect the most suitable method is collection of seeds from natural sources. In India, the seeds of milkfish measuring 2-7 cm in length occur along the coast of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The main fry season extends from March to June. Milkfish seeds prefer clear calm inshore waters of gently sloping beaches including tidal creeks, estuaries, brackishwater bodies and mud flat areas where the temperature is about 23-25 oC and salinity varies between 10 and 32 ppt.

The seeds are collected from low-lying areas using scoop nets, dip nets and hand nets. In estuaries and lagoons, drag nets or seine nets may be used, while in mud flat areas, a scare line made of coir rope of about 3-3.5 m length with palmyrah leaves attached is dragged below the water surface and seeds collected in fine meshed cloth. Soon after collected the seeds are conditioned by keeping in a limited volume of clear water for a definite period without food. Seeds are transported in containers with diluted seawater of 10-15 ppt salinity and at a rate of about 100 fry/L.

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