ICAR-CIFRI initiated cage culture of Pengba (Osteobramabelangeri) in
Loktaklake of Manipur.
Cage aquaculture is defined as rearing of aquatic organisms in a volume of water enclosed on all
sides with cage netting materials including bottom, while permitting free circulation of water
through the mesh of cages. The technology is suitable for almost all kinds of waterbodies
provided there is sufficient water depth so that the bottom cage net is at least 2 m above the
bottom of the waterbody. Several species of fish and shellfish are being successfully cultured in
marine cage facilities around the world. Culture of a few species of fish in inland and marine
cage facilities have been successfully demonstrated and popularized in India. When it comes to
Northeast India, cage aquaculture of major carps (Labeorohita, Cirrhinusmrigala mainly for
seed raising), minor carps (L. bata, L. gonius), exotic carps (Ctenopharyngodonidella,
Cyprinuscarpio) is being carried out on experimental basis with moderate success in certain
floodplain wetlands (beels) of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh,Loktak lake of Manipur, reservoirs
of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya.
ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore in collaboration with Department
of Fisheries, Govt. of Manipur initiated an ambitious project of culturing Osteobramabelangeri,
locally known as ‘pengba’ in cages installed in Takmu pat, Sendra, Bishnupur district, Manipur.
The fish was declared as the State Fish of Manipur in 2007 due to its importance and
vulnerability in the state. The fish is highly relished and has a ready demand in the market due to
its better taste and meat quality. Therefore, the fish is one of the most potential fish species for
aquaculture. It is suitable for composite fish culture along with other carps partially replacing
rohu and common carp.Scientists of ICAR-CIFRI feel that research on standardizing package-of-
practice of cage culture technology with respect to pengbais required for profitably culturing the
The present project of culturing Pengba as table-fish in cages installed in Takmu pat, Sendra,
Bishnupur district, Manipurwas initiated with financial support from ICAR-CIFRI’s Northeast
Hill Component. Cage culture of Osteobramabelangeri in Loktaklake was recommended by the
23 rd Regional Committee Meeting (RCM Zone III) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
Dr. B.K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore andDr. B.K. Bhattacharjya, Head, ICAR-
CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati & Nodal Officer of NEH Component have steered successful
implementation of the RCM recommendation. Others involved in this activity wereDr.
DipeshDebnath, Dr. SonaYengkokpam, Senior Scientists and Dr. N. Samarendra Singh,
Scientist, ICAR-CIFRI Regional Centre, Guwahati. Initiation of the project was possible with
active support from Shri N. Gojendro, MCS, Director of Fisheries; Shri T. Shyamananda Singh,
DFDO, Bishnupur District; Shri N. Hemchandra, FO and other officials of Department of
Fisheries, Govt. of Manipur.
Shri N. Gojendro, MCS, Director of Fisheries, Govt. of Manipur expressed happiness over the
beginning of this project and thanked ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore for financial and technical
support. Dr. Debnath explained that the project aims at standardizing stocking density of pengba,
i.e., how many fingerlings can be profitably cultured per unit area of a cage. After this important
parameter is standardized, it will be required to standardize feeds and feeding ration so as to
obtain maximum growth of fish in cages.