The first harvest of fish from floating cages was held yesterday at the Fisheries Post of Grand River South East in presence of the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fishing and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo.
On this occasion, Minister Koonjoo highlighted that 10 floating cages have been allocated to various Fishermen Cooperative Societies for the purpose of small scale fish farming. These cages have been placed near the east coast of the island, namely at Bambous Virieux, Grand River South East, Quatre Soeurs, Grand Gaube and Poudre d'Or.
The Minister recalled that one floating cage costs around Rs 1 million. He further made an appeal to the fishermen to maintain and use the cage properly so as to maximise the harvest. According to scientists and technicians, eight to ten tons of fish can be harvested per year if the floating cage is correctly maintained, added Mr Koonjoo.
Fish Aggregating Devices, which are man-made objects used to attract ocean going pelagic fish such as marlin and tuna, are mainly used on the west coast, the Fisheries Minister pointed out. The cooperative societies are also provided with the fingerlings for culture purposes, he stated.
The first harvest of fish was carried out from the floating cage allocated to Mr Nilesh Teeluck of Quartier Ville Noire Gill Net Cooperative Society Ltd. Some 1.5 tons of fish was harvested.
The 10 floating cages are managed by the members of the Fishermen Cooperative Societies under the supervision of the Ministry.
Some 20 000 fish juveniles may be stocked in each cage and may yield some 10 tons of fish per cage. Presently, the cages are stocked with some 40 000 of fish juveniles.
The fish in the floating cages are mainly fed with macro algae and fish feed supplements. Underwater ecological surveys conducted at the floating cages sites, so far, have showed no impact on the marine ecosystem in terms of pollution, overgrowth of macro algae, both in the sea bottom and water column.