Central Island Agriculture Research Institute

Division of Fisheries Science


Over past three decades Fisheries Science Division has its focus on addressing the issues related to aquaculture, capture fisheries resources and impact of climate change on coastal bio-resources. During the first decade (1978-88), the primary focus was on cataloguing the fisheries resources and understanding the fisheries potential of the islands, which could be attributed to the origin of the division from CMFRI. Subsequently, in the next decade (1988-98), comprehensive efforts were taken to study the aquaculture potential – freshwater and mariculture by experimenting and improvising the different fish culture methods from the mainland based on the island conditions. During the third decade (1998-2008), significant efforts were undertaken for costal bio-resource characterization with special reference to climate change. The main focus of the fourth decade ever since the inception of the institute, has been on consolidation of the research efforts on aquaculture, resource management, biodiversity characterization and utilization by using high-end space and molecular tools.

The division has its headquarters at Garacharma main campus, a full-fledged research laboratory at Marine hill campus to carry out biodiversity/resource management studies and mariculture activities and a brackish water fish farm complex at Sippighat and freshwater complex at Bloomsdale farm. The division has developed technologies that has addressed the welfare of fishermen community and fish farmers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The divisional scientists share a great rapport in research and extension activities with Andaman Administration, Krishi Vigyan Kendra to validate/demonstrate the technologies. The division has collaborated with many external funding / research agencies like DBT, SAC, INCOIS, ILS, ISRO-RRC etc to carry out research with specific needs of the islands.

The division has a sanctioned strength of 7 scientists, five of them with Fisheries Resource Management specialization; one each with aquaculture and fish processing specialization. At present, two scientists with specialization in Fisheries Resource Management (FRM) are working on broadly three major research areas viz., Coastal bio-resource management, aquaculture and capture fisheries with the aim to improve the productivity of Island fisheries.

Thrust area

With objective to provide a research base to improve the productivity of fisheries sector of ANI through adaptive and basic research for attaining self sufficiency, the thrust areas addressed are

  • Coastal Bio-resource Management
  • Aquaculture
  • Capture fisheries


  • Marine Research Laboratory
  • Hydrography laboratory
  • Fisheries Informatics and Instrumentation facility
  • Molecular biology and Microbiology lab
  • Mariculture (Wet lab -1, Wet lab -2)
  • Algal culture laboratory
  • Fish quarantine room
Special equipments
  • Cooling Centrifuge
  • SCUBA Gears and accessories
  • Survey Boat
  • Underwater Digital camera with Strobe
  • Laminar flow chamber
  • Modern water bath system
  • Gel documentation system
  • Incubator and refrigerator
  • Gel Electrophoresis unit
  • PCR machine

Project-wise Achievements

Coastal bio resource / Management:
  • The Nicobar group of Islands are highly vulnerable to climatic variation due to their flat topography, limited physical size and geographical isolation. Among the Nicobar Islands, Trinket and Chowra have over 15% of the total land area with an elevation less than 10m above MSL.
  • The projected changes in mean temperature and precipitation using the MAGICC/SCENGEN software indicate that the rainfall pattern is all set to change significantly (P<0.05) during different seasons and the pattern of change in Nicobar would be different from that in Andaman.
  • Under a collaborative project with Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, contributed in determining the extent of coral reef area in A&N Islands (1021.5 sq.km). Species distribution in Marine National Parks (MNP) and popular dive sites have been documented.
  • Developed spectral signatures for different forms of corals and delineated their potential use for differentiation of coral forms and species in some cases through underwater radiometer surveys in Andaman.
  • The biodiversity of marine sponges from North Bay and Pongi Baalu has been documented. Altogether 51 marine sponges were collected and described through conventional taxonomy (17 of them are new locational records for India). Through a study on the bioactivity of marine sponges 10 sponges and 75 sponge associated bacteria with significant bioactivity were identified and characterized.
  • 34 true mangrove species belonging to 15 genera, 10 orders and 12 families have been documented and 25 species, one of which is a new locational record for the islands were fully described.
  • Trophic level productivity measurements within different areas, coral reefs, , mangroves, coastal and open sea have been done along with spatial and temporal patterns of different water quality parameters and their relation to aquatic fauna. The average gross and net primary productivity of Andaman coastal waters were found to be 298.33 and 115.27 mg C/m3/ha respectively.
  • The feasibility of cage culture of groupers in protected bays and creeks in Andaman was assessed using wild caught seeds. The grouper stocked at the size of 201.73 ± 27.57 mm and weight 90.06 ± 41.40 g recorded a growth of 79% in six months with 97% survival.
  • An integrated mangrove-based agro- aqua farming system was developed at Sippighat Brackishwater Farm complex of CIARI and at a farmers’ field at Indira Nagar. More than 150 farmers were sensitized on the potential of mangrove-based aqua farming in the islands.
  • The Cheekspine anemonefish, Premnas biaculeatus has been successfully bred in captivity and details of embryonic development from egg to hatchlings have been recorded. The larvae (3.724 ± 0.05 cm) after hatching were active swimmers and started feeding on rotifers after yolk absorption (12-24 h).
  • A catfish hatchery has been established at CIARI and the seed production and larval rearing technology of cat fish (Magur) has been standardized successfully
  • A study on the incidence of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in the wild stock of tiger shrimps in Andaman indicated that about 30% of the wild tiger shrimps are carriers of WSSV, the most devastating disease known to shrimp aquaculture.
  • An exhaustive survey on the tsunami affected areas was carried out delineating ideal areas for brackish water aquaculture in collaboration with CIBA, Chennai and A&N Administration under the aegis of Coastal Aquaculture Project Implementation Committee.
Capture fisheries:
  • Under PFZ project the study showed that by following the Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories, the catch per unit effort (CPUE) shall be increased by 34% and scouting time shall be reduced by 51%..
  • A systematic analysis of landings of groupers and snappers in South Andaman revealed that the average annual catch per unit effort (CPUE) was 130 kg/boat, with maximum CPUE (186 kg/boat) being recorded in September, 2010. Among groupers, Epinephelus malabaricus and among snappers, Lutjanus gibbus were the predominant species.

Technology developed

  • Captive breeding of anemone fish, Premnas biaculeatus and Amphiprion percula. The breeding technology has been included in the Micro-Business Module published by the institute.
  • A catfish hatchery has been established at CIARI and the seed production and larval rearing technology of cat fish (Magur) has been standardized successfully.
  • Mud crab (Scylla serrata) culture and fattening technology.
  • Evaluation of sea surface height in relation with fish landings and potential fishing zone advisories has been carried out, which would help in augmenting the PFZ advisories for Andaman.
  • Cage culture of marine fin fishes in protected bays.
  • Mangrove-based agro-aqua farming as a model for tsunami affected areas in Andaman.
  • Spectral signature for coral life forms that will aid in using satellite data for delineation of various coral types.
  • Documentation of biodiversity of coastal bioresources like corals, mangroves and marine sponges.
  • Bioprospecting of marine sponges and identification of marine sponges with significant population of bioactive bacterial associates.
  • Determination of the extent of agricultural vulnerability of Nicobar group of islands to climate change

Extension/ Outreach Programmes/ Activities

Program Date Venue Collaborating Agencies
Rain gauge Installation and operation training 30 Nov 2012 Port Blair FSD, NIO
Carp breeding and Nursery Management under satellite nursery model 20-23 June 2012 Diglipur FSD, ORC,KVK
20-23 June 2012 Rangat FSD, ORC,KVK
21-23 June 2012 Port Blair FSD, ORC,KVK
Carp breeding and Nursery management 21-23 July 2011 KVK- Sippighat FSD, KVK, NAIP
Mangrove based aquaculture 25-27 Aug 2011 KVK- Sippighat KVK, FSD
Catfish culture and induced breeding of IMC 12-14 July 10 Diglipur ORC, FSD, NABARD
Carp seed production and nursery management 23-26 June 10 Port Blair ORC, CIARI, NABARD ,FSD
Marine ornamental fish breeding 19-22 Nov 10 Port Blair ORC, CIARI, NABARD ,FSD
Brackishwater fish farming 24-27 Feb 10 Lalpahar FSD, CIARI, KVK
Integrated fish farming 15-17 March 10 Port Blair FSD, CIARI, KVK
Freshwater prawn farming 22-24 March 10 Port Blair FSD, CIARI, KVK
Brackishwater fish farming 15-17 Oct 2008 Port Blair KVK, FSD
Importance of catfish culture in Andaman 16-18 Dec 2008 Port Blair KVK, FSD
Brackishwater farming 25 Feb - 5 Mar 2009 Port Blair KVK, FSD
Brackishwater fish farming 20-22 June 2007 Port Blair KVK, FSD
Breeding and Nursery management of Carps 17-19 July 2007 Port Blair KKVK, FSD
Duck cum fish culture 12-20 Dec 2007 Chouldhari KVK, FSD, ASD
Composite fish farming , nursery and rearing management 24-25 Nov 2006 KVK, Sippighat KVK, FSD
Marine ornamental fish breeding 2-6 Jan 2007 CIARI CARE India, FSD
Freshwater aquarium 8-10 Jan 2007 KVK, Sippighat KVK, FSD
Freshwater prawn farming 13-14 Mar 2007 CIARI KVK, FSD
Integrated fish farming 20-21 Mar 2007 CIARI KVK, FSD