Technology Options


Technology Options for Improving Fisheries Production in Goa


          Goa is a small maritime state having two district (North Goa and South Goa) and 11 talukas. Goa is bound by Arabian Sea in the west and Maharashtra and Karnataka states in the north, east and south. It has reasonable scope for fisheries production, mainly from marine capture and inland culture resources. It has an equally good potential for production of fisheries processed products for both internal and export markets. More than 90 per cent of the population of Goa are fish eaters. Though Goa’s coastline of 105 km forms only 1.25 per cent of the country’s total of 8192 km, its recorded marine fish landing contribution to the country’s total ranges from 2.2 to 3.8 per cent. Similarly, the quantity of fisheries exported from Goa is more than 2.0 per cent of the total fisheries exported by India, contributing about ` 35 crore (0.43) to country’s foreign exchange. However, there is large scope to increase the production and export through scientific and planned strategy.

Resource Potential:

           Fishing is one of the important economic activities of the state, next only to mining and tourism. Goa has continental shelf of about ten million ha and an actively fished area of 20,000 sq. km. EEZ of Goa has estimated annual potential pelagic yield of 77,660 ton and demersal yield of 1,12,600 ton, where as the sustainable yield which  could be safely harvested without upsetting the natural balance are 46,560 and 67,560 ton /year, respectively, for the two zones.

          In the inland front, Goa has nine river and 550 km network of water bodies between them. It has 18,500 ha of Khazan land, 13,157 ha of estuary with Mandovi and Zuari estuaries being the main ones, 100 ha of freshwater ponds, 200 ha of old mine reject pits and 3,250 ha of reservoir submersion, in addition to 9,600 ha of double cropped rice fields where fish culture can be incorporated. In all the irrigation structures and homestead ponds fish can be incorporated and remunerative integrated farming systems with other components of crops and live stocks can be taken up.

          The per capita fish consumption of Goa is 7.4kg/ day compared to the national average of 5.4 kg. against the recommended average of 11.0 kg. present local fresh, 9 percent dried, 5 per cent salted and 5 per cent as manure.

Points of consideration for identification of thrust areas:

          For identifying the thrust areas of research and implementation of development programmes for fisheries production in Goa and adjoining areas, the following aspects are to be considered:

  •  Resource potential in locations covering brackishwaer, fresh water and marine waters,

  •  Technology suitability,

  •  Scope for increasing fisheries production and productivity emphasizing more on culture,

  •  Problems specific to Goa and

  •  Consumer preference.

 Gaps needing technology intervention for fisheries production:

          Fisheries production in Goa comes from capture fisheries in marine sector, traditional capture and impounding system in brackish and freshwater bodies and scientific culture in brackishwater areas mainly revolving around a single species of shrimp namely tiger shrimp (Peneas monodon). The aspects in marine sector needing consideration include protection to the traditional and non mechanized fishing up to 20 m depth and demarcation of fishing by mechanized boats beyond 50 and 100 m depth areas including deep sea fishing in a sustainable manner. Conversion of uneconomical trawl boats into tuna long line for fishing in deep sea areas, installation of artificial reefs and fish aggregating devices are some of the alternatives for eco-friendly sustainable fisheries. Scientific culture need to be enhanced in marine and brackishwater areas, with diversification of suitable species like mussel, oyster, other species of shrimps, mud crab, sea weeds, Pearl spot, Sea bass, etc., which have technologies developed by various ICAR Institutes. In inland sector, composite fish culture of carp species and fish based integrated farming systems involving rice-fish, duck- fish and poultry-fish are technologies available for fisheries production in small water bodies, homesteads and commercial aquaculture in large ponds. Freshwater ornamental fish culture including live bearers and egg layers, live and formulated feed production and preparation of value added and specialty fish products are some of the alternative livelihood avenues available under fisheries sector considering the heavy tourist influx and agro-eco tourism potential Goa is having.

Following are some of the field tested technology options available for fisheries production:

  • Rice-fish integrated farming system

  • Duck-fish integration farming system

  • Poultry-fish integration farming system

  • Carp culture in freshwater ponds

  •  Mussel farming in brackishwater areas.

  •  Remote sensing based Potential Fishing zone forecast for marine fishing

  • Freshwater ornamental fish culture

  • Nutritive feed production for carps and ornamental fishes

  •  Live feed culture for ornamental fishes


Freshwater, brackishwater and marine water aquatic resources



Rice-fish integrated farming system

Introduction: In the standing water of a low lying rice fields, there is always natural fauna of plankton, insects, mollusks and larvae, which serve as food of carps. This food material which otherwise goes waste can be recycled through a combination of fast growing carps species

Existing practice:  Presently, in about 40,000 ha of low lying rice fields of Goa, rice cultivation is made without fish culture. Suitable areas: Low-lying rice fields where 10-20 cm of water column could be maintained and regulated for a period of 6 months or more are suitable for rice-fish combination. In field where two crops of rice which cultivated in year, it could be easy to integrate culture of freshwater fish as well. In addition to the two crops of rice and fish, it would also be possible to have a third summer crop, it irrigation is available.

          To make the combination functional, field should be bunded and a pond 1/10 of size of the field should be provided in the field to facilitate the fish to get collected during rice transplanting, harvest and non-rainy period. A minimum of 1000 m2  field area separated by bunds, is preferable. Water should be managed at the 50 percent level of the rice plant.

Fish species: Pre-reared advanced fingerlings of carps such as Catla, Rohu, Mrigal and Common carp of 10-15 cm size (100-150 g) are to be stocked before the onset of monsoon at the stocking density of 1500-2000 fingerling /ha (150-200/1000 m2 of field) at the ratio of 2:2:1:1, respectively.

Rice variety:  Medium to long duration and medium to tall in height rice varieties which are less susceptible to lodging, pests and diseases, are suitable for combination. While the first crop of rice may be necessarily transplanted. Trials of the Institute have indicated that Jyoti and Vytila series of rice varieties of suitable for both Kharip and Rabi in Goa. For the third crop, cowpea, vegetables, groundnut or water melon could be grown under irrigation. If the bunds are broad enough, fodder grass, banana, vegetables, pineapple and coconut can be cultivated.

Harvest: During harvest of first crop and transplanting of the second crop, water has to be drained form the field allowing the fishes to move to the pond. However, the second crop can be harvested without draining the water so that a column of water is retained in the field for longer duration when there is no water replenishment by rain.

The fish could be harvested after the second crop when water level goes down. Harvest of fish could also be done after draining water from the field so that fish could be collected from the pond.

Rice and fish yield:  Vyttila-1 has the desired height and yield, suitable for the water-logged condition. It was observed to grow over one meter height and 3.0 ton/ha during Khariff and 6.0

ton / ha in Rabi. A fish production rate of 1,250 kg/ha /8 months was recorded with an average individual growth of one kg when stocked with advanced carp fingerlings at 1,500-2,000/ ha stocking density and without supplementary feeding and pond fertilization.


Economics of the system calculated based on the results of fields trials conducted at Goa and Kerala and projected for a 0.1 ha field with a 0.01 ha pond inside for a combination of four species of carps, two rice crops and groundnut crop on residual moisture and Sesamum, water melon or vegetables as summer crop, depending on water availability gave a net profit of Rs. 12,200/- for an expenditure of Rs.13,500/-



Duck-Fish Integrated Farming System


Carp culture is recent introduction are which being taken by farmers in there homestead ponds and small freshwater bodies including irrigation structures. Though duck rearing is not very popular in Goa, there meat and eggs are delicacy and has a good economic returns.

 Existing practice:

For regular fish culture, the ponds are manured for production of fish food called ‘Plankton’ and in addition, feeding of fish should also be done to enhance production. Fish culture and poultry rearing are practiced separately. By utilizing small water bodies and ponds for fish culture and integrating with duck culture will help reducing the input cost for pond fertilization and fish feeding, as the duck droppings will produce enough plankton for feeding the fish. Ducks also get about 30 percent of their food from the pond as they feed on aquatic weeds, insects, molluses etc., which do not form the food of fish.

 Culture practice:

Pond is prepared and advanced fingerlings of the fast growing varieties of carps namely Catla, Rohu, mrigal and common carp are stocked at the ratio of 2:2:1:1 in the stoking density about 6,000/ha. A duck night shelter can be constructed on the pond bund or a floating cage can be fabricated for housing the ducks. Dual type White Pekain birds are suitable for the combination. Thirty duckling of 6 weeks age @ 30 per 0.1 ha pond would be sufficient to fertilize the pond. Initially the ducklings have to be trained to come back in to the night shelter after foraging during day time. One duck would void about 150 dropping per day. After about six months a duck starts laying eggs and 200-300 eggs per year.   Instead of the floating cage, night shelter for ducks can also be built on the pond bund.


From a 0.2 ha pond, the duck fish integration would give about Rs.68,000/- net profit for an expenditure of Rs. 53,000/- with a gross profit of Rs.1,21,000/-.



          Duck culture infloat in fish pond



Poultry- Fish Integrated farming system


Utilization of small water bodies for carp culture and integrating with poultry rearing by recycling the bird dropping through fish would be revenue generating and enterprise.. By integrating poultry with fish, the expenditure on pond fertilization and fish feeding can be avoided, as the droppings of the birds are sufficient for the production of natural fish food in the pond. In regular fish culture, the pond is mannured and fertilized for the production of the fish food organism called ‘Plankton’ and in addition, the fishes are also fed with supplementary feed to enhance production.

Existing practice:

Poultry is reared normally as a backyard enterprise in Goa. Carps are cultured in small homestead ponds and integration of the two has not been practiced.  

Culture practice:

Pond is prepared, a poultry shelter is constructed on the pond bund and advanced fingerlings of carps of species Catla, Rohu, Mrigal and Common carp stocked in the ratio of 2:2:1:1 at the stocking density of about 6,000/ ha. Layer birds of variety like Astrowhite, are reared for 10 to 12 months. Six week old chicks start laying eggs after 20th week. A bird void about 100 g per day. With 40 to 50 birds / 0.1 ha, about 4 to 5 kg of dropping are recycled daily through fish by the production of sufficient plankton. The poultry husbandry practices are followed and input on pond fertilization and fish feeding are avoided. 



Harvest of fish from pond can be made either when the fish attain the marketable size of 1 kg average or after one year of culture or when the water level in the pond is reduced less than a metre. Over 3,500 kg to 4,200 kg of fish could be harvested per ha for 3-4 species combination, under the system. The healthy birds lays about 250-280 eggs per year.



For a 0.2 ha pond with a about 60 birds a net profit of about Rs.78,000/- can be obtained for an expenditure of Rs. 68,000/-

 Application: The poultry-fish integrated farming can be employed in both freshwater bodies homestead ponds and irrigation structures and also tried in brackishwater ponds to reduce input, effective utilization of available water bodies and increase farm income.



                       Chick in cages                                                                               Harvested carps



Carp culture in freshwater ponds

Introduction: The west coast region, in which Goa is situated in the central part, is a narrow atip of land wedged between the western gnats and the Arabian Sea. This region has many small west flowing rivers which have the influence of incrust of saline water up to 50 km from the sea resulting in the demarcation of the inland area into freshwater and brackish water bodies. Rivers, reservoirs, irrigation structures and ponds constitute freshwater bodies. However culture of fish can be taken up only in ponds and irrigation structures and culture based capture fisheries can be taken in reservoirs. In all homestead ponds and irrigation structures fish can be cultured as a subsidiary practice and in excavated ponds fish can be cultured on a commercial basis. Carps are well suited for culture as they are plankton feeders and fast growing in nature. In addition fish can be component in the integrated farming system modules such as rice fish, poultry fish, duck fish, etc.


Existing practice: Small water bodies are made mainly for irrigating plantation and other horticulture crops. Similarly small reservoirs and bhandaras are necessary structures for crop cultivation, many of which are not utilized for culturing fish which would give additional income. Medium and larger water bodies which are at present not utilized for the fish culture and some not utilized for irrigation purposes will be silted and become marshy. In perennial ponds, carp culture can be practiced through out the year and seasonal ponds could be used until water is available with minimum of one meter. Seasonal ponds can also be utilized for carp breeding and seed production which will be much more profitable than culture itself. Very small ponds can be used for raising advanced fingerlings for stocking during the on set of monsoon well before the seed availability. These unutilized water bodies and ponds could be enlarged, deepened and made suitable for scientific fish culture.


Technology: Carps are group of fast growing fishes which can be cultured in combination. Indian major carps, common carp, Chinese carps and some of the minor carps grow to an average of 1 kilo per year and can be cultured in specific combinations.  Scientifically prepared pond can be put to profitable fish culture through composite fish culture method involving four to six species of carps. In composite fish culture the available food materials in different nitches viz. surface, column, bottom and sides of the ponds are fully utilized by employing surface column and bottom in ratio of 1:1:1 and it also ensures that there is no competition between the species. Six species combination involves species such as catla(surface feeder), rohu( column feeder) and mirgal(bottom feeder) in addition to common carp( bottom feeder), Chinese carps

(silver carp and grass carp) if seeds are available. Normally four species culture is taken up as the seeds of catla, rohu, mirgal and common carp are easily available. As these carps are plankton feeders, the ponds have to be manured to enhance plankton production. In addition, supplementary feed is given to enhance growth. The ponds are stocked to the carrying capacity maintaining the ratio indicated earlier. Depending up on the size and the nature of the pond, the technology can be suitably modified to the local requirements. The carps can be easily domesticated to a wide range of supplementary feeds and they tolerate reasonable extent of fluctuation of conditions.

To escape predation and to utilize the periods of water availability during monsoon, it is advisable to stock the pond with pre-reared advanced fingerlings. The method of partially harvesting and partial stocking is taken up in which only fishes grown more than one kilo are harvested and the remaining ones allowed to grow during the second year with stocking of that quantity of fingerling to saturate the carrying capacity every year.

 Culture practices: Carp culture practices involve preparation of ponds, strengthening of bunds, fixing of the inlet and outlet ways to prevent of the stock fish and entry of carnivorous fishes, eradication of unwanted carnivorous and minnow fishes, liming @ 300 to 500 kg per hector to correct the pH to 7.5 and enhance nutrients availability, manuring the pond with cow dung and fertilization with minimal dose of selected fertilizers for enhancing plankton production are prerequisites before stocking the fish. Besides, monthly quantity of cow dung or any other organic manure is added to maintain sufficient plankton production, avoiding excess doze or stopping, to prevent pollution or heavy organic load which may create anoxic or unhygienic conditions.

 Stocking density: Fingerlings of three inch size or preferably pre reared advanced fingerling of four species of carps namely catla, rohu, mirgal and common carp can be stoked at the stoking density of 6000 per hectare in the stocking ratio of 2:2:1:1, respectively. If more species are available, the stocking ratio can be adjusted depending on the feeding nitch and the stoking density can be increased even up to 10,000 per hectare.

 Supplementary feeding: As the plankton produced in the pond would be insufficient for the high density of carps stocked, supplementary feeding is essential which would meet up to 50 per cent of the nutrient requirement. Simplest way of feeding carps is to give a mixture of well sieved rice bran and groundnut oil cake at 1 : 1 ratio, initially as power and slowly replaced as dough, as the fish grows. The carps can also be given with formulated feeds with balanced nutrients as per its nutritional requirement. Ingredient composition of basal carp feed containing 30 to 32 per cent crude protein is given below:


 Feed ingredient                             (%)

1. Groundnut oil cake                      35

2. Fishmeal                                       35

3. Rice bran / Wheat bran                 10

4. Maize                                            11

5. Vegetable oil                                  2

6. Mineral & Vitamin mix.                 2

7. Binder (Wheat flour)                      5

      Feed can be given at 2 to 3 per cent body weight of total fish in the pond. For calculation the amount of feed to be given, monthly or periodical sampling of fishes has to be done from which the condition of growth of fish can also be estimated.

 Harvest of fish: Carps can be harvested in the month of April or May using either cast net (for small quantity) or drag net for complete harvest of pond. Fish have to be harvested when the water level comes down below one meter. In perennial ponds, partial harvesting (those above one kilo weight) can be resorted to leaving behind smaller fish to grow during the second year for larger individual growth. Carps can be harvested in a single lot or in small groups depending upon the demand. Harvested fish can be kept alive in a cement tank for few hours to get better price. 

Brief economics: With four carp species culture at 6000 / ha stocking density and with 80 per cent survival, the culture would yield 400 to 500 kg / 0.1 ha / 12 to 18 months culture and at Rs.80/- a kilo, the gross income would be 32,000/- to 40,000/-, with about Rs.15,000/- towards annual expenditure for fish seed, lime, manure and feed.


               Prepare freshwater pond                                                         Harvest of fish in pond



            Indian major carp (Catla, Rohu, Mrigal)                                             Common carp



Mussel farming in brackishwater areas.

Existing practice: Mussel farming is an alternative candidate species for diversification of aquaculture in brackishwater areas. In nature, usually mussels are found in the inter-tidal zone where for every six hours they are submerged in water when they open their shell and feed. During alternate six hours when there is low tide, they close their shell. Grown up mussels of marketable size of more than 3.0 inches are hand picked during low tide as a subsistence fishery during month from February to May.

 Species: Perna viridis (Green mussel)

 Distribution/Availability: Green mussels is naturally distributed in rocky substratum of the intertidal zone in the many part of the coast of Goa like Baga and Donapaula. It is also available in the brackishwater creeks and bays where there is rocky substratum. The seeds called spats can be collected from the natural environment in many part of coastal Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

 Culture technology:  Mussels are cultured in raft and long line systems. A rectangular raft is made by bamboo poles with floats, from which ropes containing the young ones of mussel are suspended in water. Where ever depth of water is less, the long line method is adopted. The culture of mussel is to be started in the month of October-November and the harvest can be done in the month of April-May before the onset of monsoon, giving a total culture period of about five months to get a marketable size.

 Suitable areas: The mussel culture can be made in the open sea, protected base, all along the estuarine backwater where there is culture ponds.

 Performance: The growth of the mussel in natural environment would be from an average initial total length of 2 cm to 7 cm within 4 months and up to  10 cm. In culture system, mussels continuously feed on naturally available food materials in the water, thereby the culture period to marketable size of mussel is cut short to about 5 – 6 months. The harvested mussel may be depurated for better hygiene and sanitary purposes before sale.

 Economics of mussel culture:

The calculated economics of culture indicated a net profit of ` 20,000/- for the first year and ` 30,000/- during the second and third years, for a unit raft size of 5m x 5m.  One unit can hold about 100 strings, each of which can be seeded with 400 numbers. With an average of 300 numbers growing out to 30 to 40 g size in five months, a total of about1,000 kg of mussel can be harvested from a single unit. The initial cost of establishment of the raft and the cost of seed could be ` 20,000-25,000/unit. The same bamboos and the ropes can be used for the second and third years thereby saving about ` 10,000/year. The sale price of each mussel is `. 2/- a piece or even higher, depending up on the local demand. The sale price from single unit will be ` 50,000  to 60,000/-


Mussel culture raft in backwater                                    Mussel strains suspended in water



  Fully grown mussels in strain


Remote sensing based Potential Fishing Zone forecasting for marine fisheries

Introduction: The marine capture fisheries dependent upon various factors such as fish stock, nutrition status, food availability, weather parameters, monsoon, wind, upwelling, dynamics of the ocean, craft and gear fishing intensity and the traditional knowledge of fishermen. With advent of mechanization, the fisherman has to search in the open sea spending valuable fuel and time, which make the fishing operation uneconomical. As a result the mechanized vessels tend to fishing near shore areas competing with a traditional and shore operated gears.

 Potential Fishing Zone forecast:  Based on the satellite imaginary and oceanic parameters like sea surface temperature (SST), Chorophyll and wind direction it is possible to forecast potential fishing zones where fish may be available. INCOIS, Hyderabad, disseminates PFZ advisories thrice a week on non cloudy days which are retransmitted by the Institute to the fisherman through FAX, e-mail and recently Electronic Display Board installed (EDB) at important landing centres along Goa coast for the benefit of fishermen, free of cost. The forecast includes a map and data indicating depth, distance and angle from landing centre, at which the PFZ is located.

 Experiement results: Data collected through feedbacks on fish catch landing and experiment on fish catch from PFZ and Non-PFZ areas indicated that the technology is useful mostly for pelagic gear operators, especially purse seines.

  Performance: Normally by using this technology fisherman obtaining the catch of Mackerel, Oil sardine, Seer fish, Tuna, Horse mackerel, etc., which yield around 2-5 tons catch compared to less than 2.0 tons of fish without using the PFZ advisory. Many a time the fishermen come back a without fish if they are not using PFZ.

 Benefits: It has been observed that through the application of PFZ technology, the fishermen particularly the purse seine operators could reduce the fuel consumption, fish searched time and human drudgery to an extent of 30-70 percent. With the PFZ advisory, the mechanized vessels are venturing deeper waters of depth higher than 50 meters, leaving the near shore waters to the benefit of traditional fishermen.


                   PFZ map                                   Purse seine in operation                                              A Sardine catch


Freshwater ornamental fish seed production


Aquarium fish keeping is becoming increasingly popular hobby in households and tourism industry, creating a demand for production of fish seed of popular varieties. Ornamental fish trade is becoming one of the highest revenue generating ventures both for local and export markets. The most popular varieties of ornamental fishes are the freshwater ones. There are two type of freshwater ornamental fishes namely egg layers and live bearers. Gold fish, Golden carp, Koi, Angel, Guorami, Barbs, Cat fish, Sucker fish and loach are some of the popular varieties of egg layers and Guppy, Molly, etc., are popular live bearers. There are many varieties and colour variations within each species of ornamental fishes. Seed production is an important area which includes, brood stock raising, breeding, nursery, rearing to salable size, production of live feeds and formulated feeds for raising these seeds. Goa has a good potential for small scale production of many of these ornamental fishes considering the local demand and tourism influx, which can be a very good livelihood opportunity.

 Present status:

Majority of popular varieties are now imported from other countries and resold in India. Besides, there are indigenous species which can be promoted as ornamental fishes. Each species breeding and feeding nature is distinctly different and the seed production is dominantly the monopoly of private sector.


Breeding technology for the following varieties of freshwater ornamental fishes have been refined including its nursery raising, production of green water, Moina, and spirulina as live feeds for feeding different stages of the fish and formulation of nutritional and economical feeds based on the nutritional requirement. Gold fish including Shubunkin, lion head, black moor, Veil tail, Oranda, Gold carps including Koi, Gourami, Angel, Sword tail, Guppy, black and white Molly.


Outdoor and indoor tanks, breeding tanks, glass aquaria, water circulation and aeration facilities, live feed and formulated feed preparing facilities, nets, medicines, etc., are some of the important requirements. Training on breeding and different aspects of seed raising is essential. As this is taken up as a cottage industry, economics has to be worked out on a case to case basis depending upon the species, capacity and volume required.



               Freshwater Ornamental fishes                                          Seed of egg layer and live bearer


                                                             Spirulina                                       Moina                                              


                                                                                        Formulated feed