Centre for Aquaculture Research and Extension (CARE) established at St.Xavier’s College (Palayamkottai) in the year 1996 is one of the premier institutes of fish production and transfer technologies. Since 1985, CARE had been functioning as a Zoological Research Laboratory, and later considering the need for blue collar jobs and income generation, the name was changed as Centre for Aquaculture Research and Extension. The centre is equipped with a well established Microbiology Lab, Biotechnology Lab, Breeding Ponds, Breeding Tanks, Seed Production and Larviculture Units, a Live Feed Culture Unit, Nursery Tanks, Stocking Ponds, Culture Ponds, a Flow Through System, and an Aquatheatre.
OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH CENTRE
To study biodiversity and genomic conservation of threatened freshwater fish especially Snakeheads (murrels) and Catfishes and maintain a Live Gene Bank at CARE
To standardize the techniques for seed production of native fish species and upscaling of seed production at stakeholders’ farms
To popularize commercial culture of murrels and catfishes among stakeholders by training programmes and workshops for income generation
To undertake biotechnology based investigations on cryopreservation, artificial fertilization, ploidy induction, hybridization, sex manipulation and transgenesis and feed probiotics to promote aquaculture.
To undertake collaborative research at national and international levels on global diversity and conservation of murrels
To standardize larviculture of murrels, mass production of live feed and growout culture by formulated pelleted feed
To undertake microbiology based investigations on diseases of murrels and treatment by medicinal herbs
To promote value added products of murrels by preparation of fillet, canned and fast food items
Seed production, live feed culture, pelleted feed formulation, larval rearing, and growout culture technologies for murrels and catfishes.
Feed probiotics as growth promoters and immunostimulants and medicinal herbs for treatment of diseases.
Genetic manipulation of murrel and catfish by hybridization, ploidy induction and hormonal manipulation of sex.
Value added products of murrels – preparation of murrel fillets for canned and packed and instant food for commercialization.
Dr. M.A.Haniffa, Director, received financial assistance from the University Grants Commission (UGC), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Environment and Forests (DOE) and Tamil Nadu Council of Science and Technology (TNSCST) and successfully completed 21 major and 3 minor research projects. At present, CARE is selected as the best for the sub-project entitled, “A value chain on murrel production in Tamil Nadu and Orissa” among 52 consortia from all over India by ICAR-NAIP.
Published more than 174 papers on toxicology and aquaculture in reputed journals and developed 16 video CDs for aquaculture technologies.
Published two books viz: Viralmeen Valarppu and Aquatic Resources & Aquaculture.
The director received awards from MAAS (New Delhi, 1989), Sophia University (Visiting Professorship, Tokyo, 1991), AIACHE (New Delhi, 1992), and TNSCST (Chennai, 2002), Rastriya Rattan award (2003) and CSIR Emeritus Scientist Fellowship (2008).
So far 36 Ph.D's have been produced by the Director. 5 candidates are working on Murrel Farming, Disease Management, and Conservation Genetics.
Our consortium has been selected as one of the best two consortia, among the 52 Consortia of Component 2 of the ICAR-NAIP subproject.
440s stakeholders have been trained in murrel culture by training programmes and workshops. At present, 51 murrel farmers are practicing seed production and growout culture.
The existing laboratory and farm facilities at CARE are extended to researchers from neighbouring institutes/universities to undertake project/thesis work. Consultancy services are offered to fish farmers, industrialists and unemployed youths.
The various activities of CARE are coordinated by the Director, Dr.M.A.Haniffa, a specialist in Environmental Biology and Aquaculture. The overall supervision and management of CARE are at the hands of the Principal, St.Xavier’s college.