Indian university develops method to farm fish in greenhouses

Winter is a month of woes, for fish farmers at least. Conventional fisheries struggle to breed fingerlings (a young or small fish) during adverse climates. According to an article in the Times of India, these drawbacks are soon to be a thing of the past with Jorhat-based Assam Agriculture University (AAU) coming up with a method that makes fish farming in greenhouses possible.

Usually, greenhouse technology uses controlled and modified climatic conditions for growing crops which otherwise is not possible in the open because of unsuitable climate.

 The greenhouse technology for fish farming has been developed by AAU basically to breed fish in winter, which conventional fisheries find difficult; and supply the fingerlings much ahead of time to the fish farmers.

"The idea of greenhouse fishery came to me during one of the recent visits of chief minister Tarun Gogoi to Jorhat. During interactions with fish farmers, one of them said that if they could get fingerlings by first week of March instead of late May, they would get more rearing time and improve fish production," AAU vice chancellor, K M Bujarbaruah told TOI.

Bujarbaruah said if fingerlings are to be supplied to fish farmers by the first week of March, breeding has to be carried out during Winter (December-February). However, during these months temperature remains low and this hampers growth of fishes.

"We started to work out how we can artificially increase the temperature in winter to help fish growth. Then the idea of a greenhouse came to my mind. Many were skeptical about using greenhouse technology for fish farming. Even manufacturers were initially reluctant because they have not designed green houses for fish farming yet. I insisted and we got a specially-designed greenhouse installed," said Bujarbaruah.

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