Finfish breeding and seed production

  • Induced breeding and captive seed production technology for Grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) was standardised for the first time and hatchery produced seeds were distributed to farmers for further rearing.
  • A breakthrough was achieved in seed production of Mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus) in a land based hatchery system for the first time in the country and the hatchery produced seeds were distributed to farmers for grow-out farming.

Shrimp seed productions and farming

  • As initial phase of the large-scale domestication and genetic improvement program in native Indian white shrimp (Penaeus indicus), three domesticated lines (G1, G2, and G3) were developed.
  • Conditions and protocols for the mating of indicus under captive conditions have been standardized. Hormonal dosage and administration procedures for inducement of maturation in P. indicus have been achieved by using Artemia as a bio-vehicle.
  • Demonstration of winter farming of vannamei at Gujarat has been carried out, and farming guidelines during winter has been framed to suite the agroclimatic conditions of Gujarat region.

Genetics and Biotechnology

  • Whole genome assembly of Penaeus indicus: Whole genome of Indian White Shrimp (Penaeus indicus) was assembled using PacBio Sequel II generated sequence data. The genome (1.93 gb) could be assembled in 11171 scaffolds, with N50 value of 34.4 Mb. A circos plot comprising of 6 tracks (scaffold, contigs, genes,CDS (sense and antisense strand), GC content) show the features of Penaeus indicus 

Nutrition and Feed Technology

  • Black soldier fly larval meal was established as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal in the diet of shrimp feed, in alignment with the GOI “waste to wealth” and “circular economy” concepts.
  • High health feed containing functional nutrient to improve the health of hepatopancreas of Penaeid shrimp has been developed.
  • Unraveled the potential of C-Phycocyanin, an intense blue pigment extracted from locally isolated Arthrospira maxima to enhance the growth and immunity of Penaeid shrimp.

Aquatic Animal Health

  • Economic loss to the Indian shrimp industry due to Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) was estimated to be US$ 1.02 billion with an employment loss of 1.65 million man-days annually.
  • Experiments revealed that live polychaetes used as a maturation diet for shrimp brooders are passive carriers of Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP).
  • Real time qPCR technique with custom designed primers was standardized for quantification of three closely related pathogenic species of Harveyi clade namely harveyi, V. owensii and V. rotiferianus. The RT PCR assay was found to be highly sensitive, specific and will assist in multiplex RT-PCR assay.
  • Challenge experiment conducted to test the interspecies transmission of Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) from infected tilapia to seabass confirming successful transmission of TiLV with cumulative mortalities. Therefore, it is recommended to have stringent biosecurity protocols while handling tilapia (as feed) in seabass fish
  • First report on the detection of Amyloodinium ocellatum infestation in streaked spine foot Rabbit fish (Siganus javus). Histopathological observation of gills revealed the presence of trophonts and tomonts with severe damage on the respiratory surface of gills, mild to severe lamellar fusion with infiltrated blood cells. The PCR diagnosis confirmed the parasite as Amyloodinum ocellatum.
  • Developed an injectable recombinant protein vaccine for Viral Nervous Necrosis (VNN) disease in Asian Seabass (Lates calcarifer). Effective for immunization of fingerlings and broodstock to prevent vertical transmission of the virus. 


  • Application of chemicals such as CaO and NaOH for the control of EHP has adverse effects on pond soil quality such as an increase in soil pH and a significant reduction in soil microbial enzyme activities. The addition of organic manures such as farmyard manure and fish hydrolysate waste @ 5t/ha, improved the enzyme activities within 8 weeks post amendment against 16 weeks without amendment.
  • Field studies have indicated that the association of environmental parameters with White Faecal Syndrome (WFS) incidence in shrimp farms revealed that though EHP is a precursor for WFS, deteriorated pond environment aggravated its severity. Multiple Correspondence Analysis revealed that rather than a single critical factor, a combination of critical factors such as TAN, NO2 and stocking density is responsible for varying degrees of WFS.
  • Inland saline waters in Uttar Pradesh are highly inconsistent in minerals concentration and ionic ratios. High calcium concentration is responsible for deviating Ca/Mg and Ca/K ratios. Since waters with a salinity of more than 5 ppt are not recommended for agriculture, with minerals supplementation, the barren lands in this region may be explored for brackishwater aquaculture.

Soil and Water quality Management

  • Field experiments revealed that environmental stressors, ammonia and salinity in combination posed as high risk factor in shrimp farming resulted in a high shrimp mortality rate (6 to 29 times more risk of dying compared with 1 to 5 times in individual treatments) and susceptible to WSSV disease. The risk factor increased with increasing ammonia and decreasing salinity.
  • Revisiting the lime requirement estimation for aquaculture pond soils showed that the exchangeable acidity method exactly estimates the lime requirement of soil, whereas soil-water pH and SMP buffer methods slightly lower and overestimate the lime requirement, respectively. The actual dose of lime material based on effective calcium carbonate equivalent (ECCE) was significant in increasing the pH compared to the calculated dose.
  • The effect of varying theoretical C: N ratios with formulated feeds on shrimp showed that the optimum biofloc volume and higher shrimp growth was recorded in 15:1 ratio compared with 20:1 and 10:1. 

Social Sciences and Development

  • Updation of brackishwater aquaculture database and on-line Aquastat through collection and collation of major data components on various aspects of brackishwater aquaculture viz., Global, Indian and state scenario of brackishwater aquaculture, production and trade statistics etc.
  • Prospective impact of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) related lockdown on shrimp aquaculture sector in India in 2020-2021 showed an economic loss of around Rs.11, 000 crores to the shrimp aquaculture sector.  It was projected that shrimp production and its export performance may be declining by 30-40% in the March-June, 2021 season.
  • Developed technology for converting fish waste into plankton booster (Planktonplus) and organic manure (CIBA-Hortiplus) as waste to wealth concepts. A Self-Help Group mentored by CIBA at Nambikkai Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, established a fish waste processing unit and earned a revenue of Rs.19 lakhs in 2021. This unit was recognized as the “Best Fisheries Self Help Group 2020” by National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Government of India.
  • Under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, with funding support from the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), we demonstrated brackishwater aquaculture technologies integrated with other agro-based farming interventions like poultry farming, mushroom farming, kitchen gardening, and fish food processing sales for the socio-economic upliftment of coastal fisher families.
  • As part of the 75 years of India’s Independence (Azad Ka Amrit Mahotsav) celebrations under CIBA Tribal Sub-Plan and CIBA-SCSP scheme, community development interventions on ‘Diversification of livelihoods for the coastal Scheduled Tribal and Scheduled Caste families through brackishwater aquaculture technologies integrated with agro-based technologies and societal development activities’ at Lakshimipuram tribal nagar, Kattur and Thonirevu village, Kottaikuppam Panchayat, Pulicat, Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu.
Aquaculture Economics:
  1. Estimation of direct costs on EHP disease outbreak in shrimp farms: The quantitative risk analysis for Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) disease was estimated through Monte Carlo simulation using excel@Risk and the maximum biological loss was estimated as 75.21% with an average loss of Rs. 61,778 ton-1 at farm-level. The additional cost of production for prevention and management of EHP was 24.78%.
  2. Impact of COVID-19 on Indian shrimp production and exports:  The overall national production and export of the farmed shrimp was reduced by 10% in 2020-21 compared to the previous year. Shrimp import by China was drastically declined by 30% from1.4 lakh tonnes in 2019-20 to one lakh tonnes in 2020-21. In case of USA and EU, the impact was marginal and exports declined by 4.9% and 5.3% respectively in 2020-21. The exports to South East Asia and Japan were not affected by the pandemic. USA is the largest importer of Indian shrimp with 46% (2.72 lakh tonnes) followed by China (1.02 lakh tonnes), European Union (70,133 t), Japan (40,502 t) and South East Asia (38,389 t).
  3. Policy issues in shrimp insurance: Product gap analysis of in-pipeline shrimp insurance scheme revealed that there are mis-matches on the parameters between the insurance companies and shrimp farmers. For example, the premium rate for sum assured (for inputs) proposed by insurance companies is 2.7-4%, while shrimp farmers prefers the same between 1 to 2%. While companies are ready to cover 80% of the input cost, shrimp farmers demand 100% of the input cost to be covered. The period of coverage put forth by the insurance companies is total life cycle of shrimp till harvest while shrimp farmers prefers only for 45 to 60 days. The success on framing a suitable shrimp insurance policy depends upon narrowing these gaps through mutual consensus.
Aquaculture Extension:
  1. Launch of CIBA Shrimp KrishiApp for the efficient management of shrimp farms: As part of the smart shrimp farming initiative an android mobile application, “CIBA ShrimpKrishiApp”, was launched for handholding the shrimp farmers in making real-time data based decisions at the farm level. The app is made available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. Using this interactive mobile application, the farmer can input his farm data on day-to-day farming operations/observations from stocking to harvest. Based on the inputs provided and inbuilt decision-making system, the app will display pond-wise status on shrimp survival, biomass, feed conversion ratio, pond water quality, and the expenditure incurred. Shrimp Krishi alerts the farmer with technical advisories whenever any deviations are noted in operational parameters such as water quality, feeding and shrimp health. The app can store the complete crop data and the farmer can retrieve it for further crop planning and share it with their resource person for technical advice.
  2. Livelihood development through brackishwater aquaculture technologies through TSP and SCSP activities: Brackishwater aquaculture based livelihood development models viz., nursery rearing of Asian Seabass, farming of Milk fish, crab culture in pens, nursery rearing of milkfish in hapas, farming of Asian seabass and milkfish, integrated farming of seabass in hapa, crab box culture in pond, integrated farming of pearlspot grow out in pond, goat and vegetable farming on dyke, cage farming of Asian seabass and pearlspot in creek, integrated farming of pearlspot, rohu, pangasius and tilapia in cages in pond, goat, poultry and vegetable farming on dyke, shrimp-mullets-gulio and crab-mullets-gulio polyculture in brackishwater ponds and crab and fish in open water pen system were demonstrated in Tamil Nadu, Maharastra, Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal. All these models required group approach to adopt, provided additional employment opportunities and supplementary income to the families in the rage of 5000-8000 per month for spending 2-3 hours a day.
  3. Aqua Farm Information System (AFIS): Web based application software was developed to store and retrieve information related to farming practices. The search module can be used to search and retrieve information based on keyword’s search. Keywords can be combined with boolean logical operators ‘AND’ or ‘OR’. Data aggregation model using Mamdani and Sugeno fuzzy based Machine Learning (ML) techniques for the development of cage aquaculture monitoring system was developed which will be useful to reduce traffic and enhance the performance of sensor networks for the development of cage aquaculture monitoring system.