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I N C O R P O R AT I N G

F I S H FA R M I N G T E C H N O L O G Y

November | December 2014


EXPERT TOPIC: Feed and feeding practices
for Catfish in India

International Aquafeed is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom.
All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies,
the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of
information published.
Copyright 2014 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form
or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1464-0058

The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry

EXPERT TPIC

EXPERT TOPIC

CATFISH
Welcome to Expert Topic. Each issue will take an in-depth look
at a particular species and how its feed is managed.

36 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | November-December 2014

EXPERT TPIC

and adopted by farmers. The commercial


industry developed in the southern United
States within the original range of the species. At least 90 per cent of the farmed fish
are produced in the Mississippi River Valley
region.

Global:
Channel
Catfish

Main producer countries

Channel catfish have been introduced into


Europe, Russian Federation, Cuba and portions of Latin America. The primary interest
in many countries appears to be recreational
fishing.

nterest in channel catfish began when


the United States Fish and Fisheries
Commission began stocking fish collected from the wild in the 1870s.
Channel catfish were native primarily to
the Mississippi River Valley but were widely
introduced throughout the nation by the
Commission. Spawning was first achieved in
1890 in aquaria, at which time it was learned
that the male guards the eggs during incubation. Pond spawning was first observed in
1914 at a government hatchery. Spawning
nests (nail kegs) were first used in 1916 and
the numbers of fingerlings produced per
stocked female increased. Indoor hatching
of channel catfish eggs in troughs equipped
with paddlewheels to move the water in a
manner that simulates the fanning of the
eggs by the male fish was first accomplished
in 1929.
Commercial aquaculture was first considered to be economically practical in the late
1950s. Catfish farming developed rapidly during the 1960s and 1970s as improvements in
pond management, disease identification and
control, and prepared feeds were developed

Production systems

Channel catfish are reared in ponds, cages,


and circular tanks or linear raceways in both
the United States and China. Monoculture
dominates in the U.S., while both monoculture and poly-culture with traditional species
such as carp occurs in China. Formulated
feeds are employed in both nations. The
details presented below refer to channel catfish culture in the United States of America.

Market and trade

The market has been impacted by an


influx of unrelated species of catfish from
Viet Nam in recent years. This has led to
intense competition with domestic channel
catfish in the marketplace to the extent
that prices paid to many producers do not
offset production costs. Predictions are that
some producers may be forced out of catfish
farming, though legislation to require country
of origin branding may provide some relief.
Country of origin labelling may aid in moving
retail grocery stores and restaurants towards
a preference for domestic catfish. There is
also a movement by the catfish farmers to
encourage legislation that would place a tariff

on imported catfish. Prices in the marketplace


are fairly stable.

Status and trends

While the catfish industry is quite mature,


research continues on disease control, nutrition, genetic improvement, and other aspects
associated with the farming of the species.
Research is also being conducted to reduce
the level of nutrients in pond effluents by
developing diets that are better utilised by
the fish.
The future of the catfish industry in the
United States is unclear. Until the situation
with respect to imported exotic catfishes is
resolved, it is difficult to determine whether
the industry will grow in the future, remain at
its current level, or decline.
The market for channel catfish in the
United States is well developed. Once considered a product of interest only in the
southern states, catfish can now be found in
restaurants and on menus in grocery stores
throughout the nation. Consumers see it as
being a healthy choice food. Market expansion may be possible through development
of new product forms and value added
processing.

Main issues

Since channel catfish are produced almost


exclusively on private land there are few
environmental issues associated with production of the species. In cases where ponds or
intensive culture facility effluents enter public
waters, there is an issue of eutrophication
that is being addressed, in part, through
development of feeds that are better utilised
by the fish. The issue of potential eutrophication also exists with respect to cage culture.
Source: www.fao.org

November-December 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 37

2
EXPERT TPIC

Feed and
feeding
practices
for Catfish
in India
by B. Laxmappa, Fisheries Development Officer, Department
of Fisheries, Mahabubnagar-509001. Telangana, India, e-mail:
laxmappaboini@gmail.com

atfishes are the second major


group of freshwater fishes. India,
being a mega-diverse country,
harbors 197 species of catfish.
Catfishes, owing to their unique taste, are
considered a delicacy for the fish consumers, but production of different indigenous
catfishes through aquaculture is unexplored
in India, although aquaculture contribution
of some of the catfish varieties like Ictalurus,
Silurus and Clarias spp. has been exemplary in
the World scenario.
Aquaculture in India has become an industry
since late eighties with several entrepreneurs
taking up aquaculture with carps, catfishes and
prawns. Of late, the Government of India has
also identified catfish farming as a National
Priority and has placed emphasis on diversification of culture practices. The major chunk of
catfish, however, comes from capture resources,
which includes air-breathing as well as non-airbreathing varieties. Air-breathing catfishes have
greater potentiality to utilise shallow, swampy,
marshy and derelict water-bodies for aquaculture, whereas non-air-breathing catfishes can be
well suited to normal pond environment.

Cultivable catfish species

There are six catfish species are cultured


in India (Table 1). Among six, only two catfish
species viz. Pangas and African catfish culture
is intensified in the country due to its higher
production rates by using various local as well
as commercial feeding methods.

Table.1: Commercially cultured Catfish species in India.


Sl. No.

Family

Common Name

Scientific Name

Clariidae

Magur

Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus)

Clariidae

African catfish or Thai magur

Clarias gariepinus (Burchell)

Heteropneustidae

Singhi or stinging catfish

Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch)

Siluridae

Butter catfish

Ompok bimaculatus

Pangasiidae

Pangas

Pangasius pangasius (Hamilton)

Pangasiidae

Sutchi catfish

Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Clarias batrachus: Amongst the catfishes,


Clarias batrachus, an obligatory air-breathing catfish known as magur is the most
preferred indigenous catfish in India. The
culture of magur obtained impetus by the
standardisation of its breeding and grow-out
farming techniques at the Central Institute
of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA),
an ICAR fishery research institute,
Bhubaneswar. The fish is currently
propagated on a large scale along
the north-eastern regions, mainly the State of Assam.
Heteropneustes fossilis: It is
commonly known as singhi
or stinging catfish, has a great
potentiality as a candidate
species for aquaculture. The
presence of accessory respiratory organ helps this to
thrive well in shallow and
derelict waters with poor
oxygen. It contributes to about
15 per cent of inland landings,

mostly from eastern regions and some few


south Indian states.
Ompok species: Ompok bimaculatus,
O.pabda

38 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | November-December 2014

EXPERT TPIC

Table 2: Farm made feed (with locally


available ingredients for striped
catfish(Pangas) in India
Average
No. of
Feeding
body
feeding/
%
weight(g)
day
100-300

3-4

2-3

300-500

3-4

2-3

500-800

2-3

1-2

800-1000

2-3

1-2

>1000

1-2

1-2

Name of the
feed

Boiled corn
doughs, cooked
rice bran,
Confectionery
waste products
etc.

and O. malabaricus are the three medium-size catfishes under family siluridae.
They have great importance as food

fish and have good demand among the


consumers.
Pangasius pangasius: It is the only species
of the genus pangasius found in India waterbodies. It is mainly an estuarine habitant,
displaying long migration from estuarine to
upper stretch of river.
Pangasianodon hypophthalmus: It is commonly known as pangas in India, sutchi catfish
in Thailand or Pla Sawai, Patin in Malaysia, tra
or basa catfish in Vietnam. It is one of the swift
growing catfishes under pangasiidae family is
widely cultured in Asian countries. Vietnam
being the largest producer of this fish enjoys
its dominance of supplying sutchi catfish and
its fillet to European market. This exotic cat-

fish entered to India through West Bengal and


seed has been transported to different parts
of India. As shrimp-farming activity in Andhra
Pradesh was affected due to disease, many
farmers of Andhra Pradesh diverted their
farming activity towards this catfish culture.
Clarias gariepinus: It is commonly known as
African catfish or Thai magur and the culture
of this species was banned in India under
Environment Protection Act. But many fishermen are still cultivating this banned catfish
illegally in village ponds to make a quick buck.
The banned catfish is reared clandestinely
in certain states like Karnataka, Maharashtra,
Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana etc.
in India.

November-December 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 39

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The Pangas catfish P. hypophthalmus was first introduced into India


in 1997 in the state of West Bengal from Bangladesh. Farmers are
overwhelmingly culturing pangas catfish using improved management
methods and improvised, supplementary feeds available commercially
along with locally available farm made feeds (Table 2). Because of its
remarkable growth rate, this fish is being cultured in many states particularly the Andhra Pradesh,
West Bengal, Kerala and Table 3: Generally suggested feeding rates
Orissa in the country. for industrial pellets for striped catfish
(Bharat Lux Indo Company)
Initially its farming was
Extruded floating
carried in limited area in
Sinking pellet (18pellet (28% crude
20% crude protein)
the state of West Bengal
protein)
later on this was cultured
%
on large scale in the state
% body
body
Fish size weight Fish size
of Andhra Pradesh.
weight
(g)
per
(g)
Andhra
Pradesh
per
day
day
is the major producing state for pangas
<100
3.0
<100
3.0
catfish particularly in
101300
2.5
101-150
2.5
Krishna and West
Godavari districts. The
301500
1.8
151-200
2.0
farm area is ranging
501700
1.5
201-250
1.8
from 4 ha to 40 ha.
701900
1.3
251-500
1.5
It has been found that
>900
1.0 501-1000
1.0
there is a shift of culture
practice from carps to Pangasianodon catfish in considerable areas in
Andhra Pradesh. Due to closure of shrimp ponds on account of disease, farmers had to suffer heavy losses and they also adopted pangas farming alternatively in the same areas. The culture production
of P. hypophthalmus is 15 to 20 t/ha/year which is higher than carp
production (8-10 t/ha/year) in the same areas. It is estimated that

40 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | November-December 2014


10.01.14 10:03

EXPERT TPIC

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Multiple air
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perforated core
needed
presently over 700,000 tonnes of Pangas catfish is produced in the
country per annum.
In commercial culture of Pangasianodon farmers are using both
pelleted and extruded feeds (Table 3 & 4). The Feed Conversion
Ratio (FCR) of these feeds can be improved to a range of 1:1 to 1:2
while common FCRs reported by farmers are in the range from 1:1
to 1:3. The floating feed is the modern way of feeding in contrast
with the traditional way using
Table 4: Generally recommended
farm made feeds comprising
feeding table for high protein
remains agricultural ingrediextruded floating feed(26% crude
ents. The feed composition
protein) for striped catfish (Growel
ranges from 25 to 28 per
Feeds Private Limited)
cent crude protein for grow
Average Average
No. of
out pond. Some farmers are
body feed(g)
feeding/
also using chicken wastes for
weight(g)
day
pangas culture as in the case
0-50
3.3
2-3
of African catfish due to low
feeding costs.
50-100
4.8
2-3
Clarias gariepinus is usu100-250
5.8
2-3
ally fed waste intestines and
250-500
8.4
2-3
skin of chickens so it grows
500-750
9.4
1-2
fast (Table 5). The magur
750-1000
10.5
1-2
can grow fast than compared
to local carps fish with low
1000-1500
11.0
1-2
feeding cost. The fish can be
>1500
12.0
1-2
produced cheaply in a short
span of time. Catfish ponds were stinking, but a bigger problem is what
they do to the immediate environment.

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Conclusion

Efforts should be made to improve Pangasianodon culture through


the adoption of Better Management Practices (BMPs) as has been

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November-December 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 41


ET-249A.indd 1

6/10/14 2:49 PM

EXPERT TPIC

ter growth, meat quality and health. In case of


polyculture mash feeds of good quality may
also be used through bag feeding in addition
to floating pellets. Under monoculture, manuring of culture pond may not be required;
however, agriculture lime should be applied
@ 100 kg ha-1depending on the
Table 5: Common feed given for Clarias gariepinus (African
pH of pond soil and water. For
catfish) in India
polyculture ponds, fertilization
Average
No. of
using organic/inorganic manures
Feeding
body
feeding/
Name of the feed
could be followed as per the
%
weight(g)
day
soil fertility.
The slaughterhouse waste
0-10
4-5
2-3
Rice bran
they feed the catfish is strewn
Spoiled & discarded
10-25
3-4
2-3
all around and shows an
cooked eggs
extreme disregard for hygiene.
Once in 3 Chicken waste raw &
The waste strewn all around
>30
3-4
days
boiled
attracts dogs, which graduThere is need for suitable adoptive measures. ally become aggressive and start hunting
Wet feeds should be totally discouraged in for meat. They become uncharacteristically ferocious and chase humans. Catfish
the culture.
Use of floating pellets is desirable for bet- farmers heat up the feed using plastic and
done in shrimp farming. A number of immediate management measures would be useful at
striving to achieve BMPs. Since conventional
feeds do not perform significantly, improvement in feed quality is urgently warranted, if
current Pangasianodon farming is to sustain.

rubber waste particularly damaged vehicles


tyres. The dark, toxic fumes can be smelt
from a long distance which is harmful to the
environment.
Proper feed storage facility should be provided at the farm site with proper ventilation
and fumigation. The feed should be stacked
on raised wooden platforms without touching
the walls to avoid mould. The feed should
be used within three months from the date
of production. Feeding should be suspended
one/two days prior to harvest. It is necessary
to have a nationwide campaign to improve
sanitation and ensuring quarantine warranty,
environmental purity and food safety.

References
Hand Book of Fisheries and Aquaculture
2011 Published by ICAR, New Delhi.
Singh AK and Lakra WS. 2012: Culture
of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus into India:
Impacts and Present Scenario. Pak. J. Biol. Sci.

42 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | November-December 2014

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November-December 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 43

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I N C O R P O R AT I N G
F I S H FA R M I N G T E C H N O L O G Y

Utlisation of Roasted
Guar Korma
as alternative for fishmeal and soybean
meal in shrimp diets

Hydrolyzed yeast
as a source of nucleotides and digestible
nutrients in shrimp nutrition

Biomins World Nutrition Forum

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