Grouper Culture Techniques

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PROSPECTS OF GROUPER CULTURE IN INDIA
P. NAMMALWAR I, R. MARICHAMY 2, A.REGUNATHANI AND K. KANDASAMYJ

Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - 682014

INTRODUCTION The "Groupers" of the genus Epinephelus are excellent marine food fishes in the IndoPacific and Garribean regions an ave assumed importance for commercial culture in recent years. About 49 species of this genus have been reported from the seas around India. Most of them inhabit coral reefs and rocky habitats, while others sea grass beds, muddy and sandy bottoms. Ju;eniles of some species occur in lower reaches of estu~ries, occasionally ascending upper reaches also. Most species are solitary and all are predators on fishes and invertebrates. The estu~rine groupers, Epinephelus tauuina and E.malabaricus are iiiOStimportant for aquaculture. Groupers are haray species which can tolerate wide fluctuations of salinity and spawn throughout the y~r probably with a peak in monsoon seasons. The major constraint for large scale commercial production of groupers is the shortage offmger' either from the hatchery or from the wild. The shortage of seed, high mar 'et value and scarcity of groupers from the wild have encouraged many countries in Asia to initiate research and development programmes on grouper breeding and seed production. Groupers are extensively cultured in floating and fixed net cages and coastal ponds in many Southeast Asian countrIes sincemore th~ 15 years. Groupers of the species E.tayuina and E.malabaricus are cultured in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Hongkong from mid seventies. E.suillus and E.amblycephalus in Taiwan, red grouper, E.akkar in Hongkong and Japan, E.mexico and E.morio in Mexico; Ktauuina and E.malabaricus in Indonesia, Kuwait and India are cultured. In Philippin~s, E.tauuina, E.malabaricus, E.sexfaciatus and E.bleekeri are cultured at present. The recent annual production of groupers from these ventures are: Thailand 450 t, Hong Kong 365 t; Singapore 153 t and

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