World Aquaculture - June 2023

44 JUNE 2023 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG development. Consumption of SIFFS as an item in the daily meal improves vision, bone growth, skin luster, energy and freshness as a source of sufficient calories. Insufficiency of SIFFS leads to poor nourishment of the rural populace as per the requirements of their physical growth, resulting in susceptibility to disease. Also, consumption of SIFFS improves the organoleptic quality of food and minimizes food wastage. Carp-SIFFS Polyculture In India, marginal (< 1 ha) and small (1- < 2 ha) aquafarms offer tremendous scope for carp-SIFFS polyculture. Culture of many SIFFS (Amblypharyngodon mola, Puntius sophore, Osteobrama cotio cotio, Gudusia chapra) with Indian major carps has a proven synergistic effect on production, leading to profitable income. Culture of mourala with Indian major carps increases overall fish production (Roos et al. 2007). Addition of P. sophore in carp polyculture is viable and pro table because it has no negative effect on the productivity of rohu and catla in polyculture; rather, the productive performance of mrigal increases by 50 percent and of common carp decreases by 20 percent (Wahab et al. 2002). Esomus danricus, A. mola and P. sophore have no dietary overlap in carpSIFFS aquaculture. Carp production is significantly greater when stocked with A. mola and P. sophore, which reproduce normally in carp-SIFFS culture ponds with no effect of fry numbers, weight and biomass. Puntius sarana had greater final weight and growth rate when stocked with catla and rohu in earthen ponds (Rahman et al. 2011). No adverse effect was recorded on the production of carp with two SIFFS (A. mola and Chela cachius); carp acted as cash crop and mourala were harvested regularly for household consumption (Roy et al. 2003). Given SIFFS-carp culture as a pragmatic approach, culture of SIFFS in carp polyculture needs to be promoted through adoption of available technologies, traditional knowledge and farmers’ innovation. The establishment of such model farming certainly ensures production of SIFFS and carps, employment generation and revenue earning. Policy and Research Needs Government surveillance is needed for protection and propagation of SIFFS in various aquatic resources with enactments of law. Exploration of databases is required on the biology, behavior, niche, feeding, breeding and inter-specific relationship among various SIFFS. Development of specific feeds at different growth stages of various species needs to be formulated and prepared to feed SIFFS. Nutrient profiles of SIFFS needs to be better understood and recognized as health supportive of common people. A strategic policy is essential that enables women to access SIFFS for better income, livelihood and nutritional security, with health benefits to pregnant, lactating women and children. On-farm testing of the feasibility of integrating SIFFS into existing polyculture practices needs to be established through networking to propagate its benefits to more people. Conclusion Ensuring participation of mass-scale rural farmers in SIFFS culture is possible through utilization of homestead or backyard ponds. This culture practice enables household members, particularly women, to access proteinrich food as and when required, apart from income from their sale. The participation of women in culturing SIFFS in homestead ponds leads to greater gender equality in terms of employment opportunity FIGURE 2. Nandus nandus. FIGURE 3. A view of different SIFFS, including minnows. FIGURE 4. A haul of SIFFS.