The future of cultured seabass/ chonak looks good

A lot of Goans’ eyes light up and their mouths water at the mere mention of chonak curry or fried chonak. ‘Chonak’ is the local term for seabass fish. A pilot project which started in July is being carried out where these fish are being cultured in an open freshwater pond at Old Goa-based ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute (CCARI). The harvest will be ready in two or three months.

“With proper management, fish farmers can harvest one tonne of fish on an average by rearing 1,000 seeds through this new technology,” ICAR-CCARI director, EB Chakurkar said. “Seabass can survive in freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water. We have compared the taste with the saltwater variety and there is no difference between the two,” revealed Sreekanth, fisheries scientist.

The chonak are fed with forage fish like tilapia, dandia, etc, and not with artificial pellet feed.

Sreekanth’s teammate Mayekar stated: “By providing proper feed and water quality management, we can expect the cultured seabass to be of better growth and survival rate compared to the marine ones. The main objective here is to culture seabass in freshwater for a year which will yield better returns than shrimp.” 

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Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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