March 13, 2020


India's College of Fisheries to modernise 22-acre aquaculture farm


The College of Fisheries in Mangalore, India will further develop and modernise its aquaculture farm spread over 22 acres on its premises at Yekkur using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.


The union government has released INR7.9 crore for the project under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, according to professor and dean of the college A. Senthil Vel.


Vel said that the college will have a tie-up with the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka (NITK) at Surathkal for introducing AI technology in aquaculture. The private sector has applied AI technology in aquaculture in a small way. But it has been rarely tried out in the government sector.


"It will be a first-of-its-kind collaboration in the country where a premier engineering institute will have a tie-up with the fisheries sector," he said.


The use of AI technology will help reduce manpower to manage the aquaculture farm. "We will have quality check at every stage," he said and added that the use of AI will be like an automation in managing the farm.


He said that all types of fresh water fish, crabs, molluscs, ornamental fish, aqua phonics and plants will be developed and conserved in the demonstration plots in the farm. Endangered species will be developed, conserved and handed over to the forest wildlife section.


Vel said that the college will also take up an aquamarine project, which is an advanced centre for aquatic biotechnology, with INR5 crore allocation by the state government's Department of Information Technology and Biotechnology. One of the activities under this project would cover formulating different fish feed for different varieties of fish for each life stage.


"We will try to use all the agro-based products such as bagasse, paddy waste and leaves so that the cost of the feed comes down significantly," he said.


In addition, the college will set up a skill development centre under Mangaluru Smart City Mission at an estimated cost of INR4.9 crore which is a grant from the union government, he said.


Under this project, an old building at Hoige Bazaar will be demolished and a new three-storey building will be built for imparting skills to youth and others in post-harvest technology and handling of fish.


Vel added that Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Inland Water Transport Kota Srinivasa Poojary and Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel have helped the college get grants for the proposed projects.