West Bengal Fisheries Development Corporation Limited started farming new fish varieties which can survive even in saline waters outside the sea, which is rare for fish breeds.
This market price of those edible fish is pocket friendly. The Bengali’s love for fish is famous.
For many Bengalis, lunch and dinner, without a piece of fish on the plate is unimaginable.
Now to add more variety to the platter, some new types of fish are being cultivated in Bengal.
The cultivation by the state fisheries department has been started on an experimental basis. If successful, the cultivation would be opened up to all interested people.
The three varieties – silver pompano, changosh and cobia – are being cultivated through the method of cross-breeding.
Silver pompano is akin to the ever-popular pomfret whereas changosh is a type of lobster. Pomfrets and lobsters have always been popular among Bengalis.
Cobia, which looks like catfish, is also a delicious fish, which was earlier not available in markets.
However, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), earlier, has developed the fish breed Pompino which will be suitable for Indian conditions. Popularly known as Chanduva in Andhra Pradesh, this rare variety of pomfret is not available even in sea waters now.
Scientists in CMFRI say the breed will change the economic conditions of poor fishermen, particularly during the 45-day conservation period when the government bans fishing activity.
Silver pompano, as the name suggests, is silver in colour. It can acquire a weight of 450-550 gram within three months. The fish can weigh 7 kg by seven months.
“We are farming those fish at Alampur near Digha. A full-grown changosh can weigh about one-and-a-half kilograms. The delicious cobia, which can weigh between three to four kilograms, is also being cultivated near Digha,” said a Fisheries Development Corporation officer.
All the three new varieties have a huge export potential too. The interest in cultivating these fish is expected to grow. The daily demand of the fish will also be under control.