: The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) on Tuesday launched the pilot project of open sea cage culture for rearing marine finfish in Rameswaram.

A group of researchers of NIOT and fishermen deployed cages in the sea, which were assembled in Chennai but components were imported from Turkey based on specifications and models forwarded by the NIOT. Hundreds of juveniles of “sea bass” finfish species were dropped and stocked in the cages.

A researcher of NIOT told The Hindu that the open sea cage culture, which was famous in South East Asia and European countries for quite some time, had been launched by NIOT for the first time at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

Kothachathiram in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar islands were the other two centres chosen for open cage culture for rearing marine finfish in the country.

A team of researchers with the support of fishermen would feed them daily twice for a period of six months. The juveniles would automatically acclimatise to the new environment in the protected area.