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New Inland Fishing Technique Yields Good Returns at Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu

Commercial fishing operations in freshwater are known as inland fisheries. Some of this fishing is capture fishing, in which fish that live naturally in a body of water are caught. The other type of inland fishery is the fish farm, which raises fish in tanks or ponds for human consumption.

Shivam Dwivedi
The total cost of constructing an HDPE pond would be around Rs 1,54,000
The total cost of constructing an HDPE pond would be around Rs 1,54,000

Farmers in the district who used the High-Density Polyethylene-lined (HDPE) farm pond method of breeding fish have reaped rich rewards. Following farmer complaints that the sandy soil texture prevalent in most parts of the district was not suitable for retaining water content and, thus, fish farming could not be undertaken; the district fisheries department began to propagate this method of fish culture.

This type of breeding began for the first time in the district in February 2021, armed with State government subsidies. Fisheries Assistant Director G Rajendran said that an HDPE sheet is laid on the farm pond to overcome the sand texture issue.

"Officials will inspect the pond site to confirm the presence of nearby water resources and bear 50% of the total cost in subsidies. The total cost of constructing an HDPE pond would be around Rs 1,54,000," he stated.

K Maharajan (56), a farmer from Vallampatti village in Vembakottai who began commercial breeding of fish using this novel method in April 2022, claims to produce 100 kg of fish every two weeks. "This farming method has provided me with a consistent source of income. I make Rs 5,000 per week," he explained.

On the occasion of World Fisheries Day last Monday, Maharajan received the Best Farmer Award (Tamil Nadu Innovative Initiative) for his efforts in fish breeding. "While any variety of fish could be cultivated using HDPE ponds," Rajendran explained, GIFT (Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia), a fast-growing fish species, could ensure good profits in a short period of time."

A 1,000-square-metre plot of land will require approximately 10 lakh litres of water. Because the fish are raised in a closed environment, no more than 1,500 should be raised in a 1,000-square-metre pond. Protein-rich foods should be provided, with vegetables and fruits being avoided because they settle on the sheet. The Fisheries Department later adopted this fishing technique in other districts, including Dindigul and Madurai.

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