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- Fish farming is the
world’s fastest growing sector of agricultural business. Consumer demand
for fish products is increasing. At the same time, wild fish stocks are
rapidly declining, mainly because of over - fishing. Aquaculture
contributes more than 16 million tonnes of fish and shellfish annually to
the world food supply.
- Biotechnology is used
in several different ways in aquaculture. Researchers use transgenics to
introduce desirable genetic traits into the fish, thereby creating hardier
stock. Transgenics involves the transfer of genes from one species into
another species, in this case, fish.
- There are two main
techniques which researchers use to transfer genetic material in fish.
One is called microinjection, in which the genetic material is injected
into newly fertilized fish eggs. However, this method is time consuming,
so researchers may prefer to use electroporation. This involves
transferring the genetic material, or DNA, into fish embryos through the
use of an electrical current.
- Transgenic technology
provides a means by which such a quantum leap in production is possible.
The identification, isolation and reconstruction of genes responsible
for desirable traits, and their transfer to broodstock, offer powerful
methods of genetic/phenotypic improvement that would be difficult, if
not impossible to achieve using traditional selection and breeding
A project was
undertaken on enhancing livelihood of SC/ST people in Orissa and Tamil
Nadu by MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai for introducing
various aquaculture enterprises to 250 participants in backyard ornamental
fish culture and carp seed production.
A project on
utilization of integrated marine living resources by SC youth from
Tuticorin region of Tamil Nadu was undertaken by College of Fisheries,
Tuticorin. Lobster fattening and crab culture techniques were standardized
and demonstrated to the beneficiaries, who have grown lobsters in cages
for about 4 months and produced 250-350gms size for marketing.
- The Indian inland
aquaculture sector in general, is growing at an annual rate of 5.8% and
currently produces around 1.6 million tonnes of fish, shellfish and
molluscs from tanks and ponds, reservoirs, brackish waters, rivers and
canals. In India, the role of fish in the diet is most important in the
east and south of India. Correspondingly, the states of eastern India,
covered by the project account for more than half the inland fish
production of the top ten states. West Bengal alone produces c.38% of
the total production.
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