Three graduates from Mangaluru set up India's first sea bass hatchery

Chennai, Sep 13 (IANS): Three young students of Bachelor of Fisheries Science (BFSc) at the Mangalore Fisheries College saw some shrimp farmers in Andhra Pradesh owing Audis and BMWs during their internship.

This made A.H. Kaushik, V.S. Karthik Gowda, and S.V. Sachin then resolve to turn into entrepreneurs.

Passing out in 2019 and after a decent initial business success, the three 23-year-old fisheries graduates decided to travel in largely uncharted waters - seed production of Asian sea bass.

"Shrimp farming is a mature industry in India. We decided on sea bass when the industry itself is in a nascent stage," Kaushik, Managing Partner, of their start-up Canares Aquaculture LLP, told IANS.

On Sunday, the ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) announced the signing of an MoU with the start-up at Karnataka's Kumta for transfer of sea bass seed production technology.

"This is the first attempt in the country in setting up a sea bass hatchery in private sector on a start-up mode," ICAR-CIBA Director K.K. Vijayan told IANS.

"This assumes significance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) to boost fish production, sustainable growth of fisheries sector and doubling farmers' income," he added.

He said the sea bass is a most sought-after fish, but producing young ones is difficult.

"Unlike many others, the boys did not wait for any government subsidy and decided to jump in immediately. We gave them 45-day old sea bass larvae which they grew for some days and sold for a good profit," Vijayan said.

According to him, the ICAR-CIBA charged Rs 5 lakh for transfer of technology and 10 per cent royalty on the net profit of the company.

Kaushik said: "Soon after passing out, we started a small sea bass nursery - KKS Aquaculture at Kundapura near Mangaluru - and got about 35,000 sea bass larvae and sold about 27,000 after rearing them for some time."

It was then the three youths got in touch with industrialist H.S. Gajanan who had earlier bought a defunct shrimp hatchery's land and building.

"We had discussions with him. He and his wife became our angel investors. The shrimp hatchery building which he had bought earlier is now the sea bass hatchery," Kaushik said.

With 80 tanks, he said their yearly capacity will be three million sea bass fries and two million fingerlings.

Canares Aquaculture will get the sea bass eggs or fries and brooder from the ICAR-CIBA, rear it in its tanks for about two-and-half months and then sell it to the farmers, said Kaushik.

"By that time, the weight of each small fish will be 10-12 grams and size will be 3-4 inches. A 10-gram fish will fetch Rs 40-45," Kaushik said.

According to him, the ICAR-CIBA will also provide the necessary knowhow, and technology in sea bass breeding.

Vijayan said there is good demand for its quality seeds among aqua-farmers across the country.

Presence of a well-established value chain for sea bass is very evident from spawn to harvest size, where huge demand exists among the farmers for the range of hatchery and farm-produced seeds.

In sea bass value chain, on tier wise rearing mode for fry, fingerlings, advanced fingerlings and sub-adults, a net profit of Rs 1-1.50, Rs 10-15, Rs 30-50 and Rs 140-190, can be made, respectively, Vijayan said.

A grown-up sea bass above one kg size fetches a market price in the range of Rs 450-750, again with smart profits for the sea bass farmer.

Emphasising the need for boosting the production of quality seeds of Asian sea bass, Vijayan said that it is equally important to use indigenous technologies in both hatchery reared seeds and formulated feeds for development of scientific sea bass farming in the country.



Comment on this article

  • abdulla, india

    Tue, Sep 15 2020

    Wonderfull..Congratulations to these Young Scientists..
    Sea Bass s called CHANAKI...very tasty
    Please continue.. with innovative Research work with results you are doing a Commendable work for the nation.
    Need to multiply nature..
    Fish is Easily digestive protein..
    india is blessed with. plenty of water bodies: rivers and 3 front oceans.
    Keep doing great work and Multiply every species of fish..crustaceans: in captivity for mass breeding.
    Great export earner.
    Juts like Poultry and Dairy farms...let there be Aqua culture: fish Farming Pan India.
    Sea Breams also is tasty..
    Pink perch..Grouper..hamoor..are aso tasty..
    Crabs.snails..Lobster is in great demand.
    Keep up th e great work and please conduct workshops through out the nation..make it a Industry.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Crasta, Mangaluru/Bengaluru

    Mon, Sep 14 2020

    Brackishwater Aquaculture & Inland fisheries are being successfully pursued in Andhra Pradesh and is earning thousands of crores in foreign exchange, for our country.

    Even the internal demand for fish is quite huge.

    Wishing the project all success. Fortune favours the brave entrepreneurs.

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bhavya Baliga, Udupi

    Mon, Sep 14 2020

    A step towards Modiji's path-breaking Blue Revolution.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Edward, Mumbai

    Mon, Sep 14 2020

    Can somebody please tell me "Sea bass" name in thulu and konkani language?

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lonewolf, Kudla

    Mon, Sep 14 2020

    Mudav / Sanaki / Baramundi

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Edward, Mumbsi

    Mon, Sep 14 2020

    Thank you.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prabhu, Mangalore/canada

    Tue, Sep 15 2020

    I really applaud spirit of these young men not to wait for a safe government clerical job but take up the challenge in jumping into a private enterprise which is in this case can turn to be very profitable when there is great demand for consumption of fish in India.

    In India where majority of people are out of necessaty and religious reasons are vegetarians, the food lacks adequate proteins. Fish is a wonderful provider of protein and low fatty oils which is great for a balanced meal. All one has to look at physique of South Indians, u would see not well built limbs and body . It’s essentially because of lack of proteins.

    So people should start eating fish and poultry. so that could develop stronger limbs and not big pot-bellies at middle age!

    So let me wish the best to these entrepreneurs so that dream come true and even exportabroad!

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Kumar Shetty, Katipalla/Mangaluru

    Mon, Sep 14 2020

    Sea bass is sought out fish everywhere in the world, even in India Bengalis love their Sea bass ....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Three graduates from Mangaluru set up India's first sea bass hatchery


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