Breakthrough in breeding grey mullets

In a big boost to aquaculture in coastal States, the Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture has successfully bred grey mullets (thirutha), a high-value brackish water fish, for the first time.

Grey mullets are known for their taste and is treated as a culinary delicacy. The fish is distributed in tropical and sub-tropical waters, and is the fastest growing species among mullets, belongs to the family mugilidae, which can grow also in fresh, brackish and marine habitat conditions. Grey mullets are omnivores and due to the texture and taste and its quality as being free of spines, consumer preference is high. The fish fetches ₹350 to ₹500 a kg in the retail market.

Faster growth rates and omnivorous feeding habit, acceptance of formulated pellet feed, make it a preferred fish of brackish water aqua farmers in the country. It is an ideal candidate species for integrated aquaculture systems. A production up to 3.5 to four tonnes per ha/crop can be achieved in grey mullet farming.

The success in breeding grey mullets was officially announced on January 28 by CIBA at a stakeholders’ meeting, said a communication from the Centre.

It is a big step towards achieving more fish production as envisioned under the call for a blue revolution, said the release.

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