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Kerala Launches New Aquaponics Project

23 June 2015

INDIA - The Kerala State Fisheries Department has drawn up plans to use an aquaponics system with tilapia to help the newly-launched efforts to produce safe-to-eat vegetables.

Aquaponics is growing in popularity throughout the State as the integrated system helps eliminate the problem of polluted water and its disposal, said a senior official of the Fisheries Department.

The official commented that the aquaponics variant being launched in the district is a Recirculating Aquaculture System which is ideal for an urban environment, The Hindu reports.

Fifty Recirculating Aquaculture Systems will soon be introduced on a pilot basis in the district, the official said.

The system will use small aquaculture tanks or ponds with silpaulin linings to hold 10 cubic metres of water to achieve a depth of 1.25 metres.

In each of the units there will be either 800 genetically improved farmed tilapia or the Niloticus variety.

The official said that these were the best suited varieties for the intense aquaculture programme and with 90 per cent survival rate, 720 adult fishes could be harvested.

Feed residue, fish faecal matter and other biomass accruals in the tank will be extracted for use as fertiliser for vegetables on a grow bed near the aquaculture facility.

The waste materials from the fish tank can be tapped replacing 10 per cent of the water regularly. The tank will have to be aerated to maintain oxygen level. The process will also save water if a filter bed is used to recycle water from the tanks.

The Fisheries Department will soon call for applications for the proposed 50 units. Each unit will be provided with a subsidy of Rs. 15,000, which works out to 20 per cent of the cost of setting up a unit, approximately of 5x2-metre size.

The initiative is being launched by Fish Farmers’ Development Agency under the Fisheries Department.

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