Dr. B. Nightingale Devi
Asst. Prof. College of fisheries,
College of fisheries, Kawardha
History of cage culture
Evolution of cage culture in India
Type of cage
Shape of cage
Materials used for making cage
Principles of cage culture
Status of cage culture fisheries in Indian reservoirs
Status of cage culture in Chhattisgarh
Benefits of cage culture
Risks and disadvantages
Cage culture is a technology which fish are reared from fry to
fingerling, fingerling size to marketable size while captive in
an enclosed space that maintains the free exchange of water
with the surrounding water body.
(Bhowmick 2011, Kranatak and Kumar 2014).
Fig- Chhirpani Reservoir cages (Dist. Kabirdham)
Cage culture was first originated nearly 200 years ago in
Cambodia where fishermen used to keep Clarias spp.
Cage culture is popular traditional culture practiced in
Common carp culture in bamboo-cage is practised in West
Java since early 1940.
Modern cage culture in open water-bodies started in Japan in
Presently more than 62 countries are practicing the cage
Currently 80 species of finfish are being cultured in cage.
Source - Bhowmick ,2015
In India, cage culture was attempted for the first time in 1970
in three environments:-
1) Swamps marked by low DO concentration, using air-
2) Running waters of the Yamuna and Ganga Rivers at
Allahabad, using major carps.
3) Standing water body in Karnataka, using common carp,
catla, silver carp, rohu, snakeheads and tilapia.
The Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI)
attempted cage culture in the 1970s with the production of air-
breathing fish in cage but got poor result (Das et al., 2014).
4 types of cage are being used for cage aquaculture.
Submersible cage, and
Source:- Shrivastava at al.(2009).
Fixed cage though very primitive in origin, still in vogue.
It is used in shallow water body part with water depth of 1-3m
Floating cage is supported by a floating frame where in net
bags are kept hanging in water without touching the basin.
Water bodies in depth more than 5m in reservoir.
Submersible cages have net bags suspended from
surface with adjustable buoyancy
It may be rigid or flexible.
It have net bag fitted in a solid and strong frame and
submerged under water
Operational mainly in marine environment.
The cage are generally enclosed on all sides, except an
opening at the top for feeding and handling the fish stock.
Cage may be round, square or rectangular in shape.
Round cages with a cylindrical net, supported by circle-shaped
support frames are most used for sea cage culture in India.
Cube-shaped, rectangular/square cage are used in reservoirs.
Source- Manna and Hassan, 2004
Size of cage for fish culture in reservoir can vary, but often
multiple units are installed as a battery of cages.
A cage with the dimensions of 6m x 4m x 4m is mostly
considered(Manna and Hassan ,2004).
Standard unit and battery comprises 6, 12 or 24 such cage, as
per requirement(Manna and Hassan, 2004).
The cage in a battery are arranged in caterpillar design for
better exchange of water thereby facilitating relatively high
dissolved oxygen (Bhowmick et al. 2015 ).
Durable and stable cage materials are essential for achieving
A cage comprises hard frames as support and nylon netting as
The material should be of -
HACCP protocol compliant
Rust-free material for cage fabrication.
Commonly used material for cage frames are bamboos.
- Galvanized iron(GI)
- Poly-vinyl chloride(PVC)
- Virgin-grade HDPE(High Density Polyethylene)
- The bamboo based frames are not recommended for
commercial cage fish farming due to their poor longevity and
strength to withstand turbulence.
The cage site needs a water depth of at least 5-10 meters round
3-4 meters depth will be always needed from the cage bottom
to the floor of the water body.
Wave and wind-
- Avoid strong wind, wave and current river, canal, reservoir.
- River and reservoir: 28-50cm/s
- wave lower: 2 meter
Fish seed availability
Source- Bhowmick et al, (2015).
Anti-corrosive paint should be applied to prevent rusting and
to increase the durability.
Cage should be cleaned at 15 days interval to avoid net
The physico-chemical parameters of water should be recorded
regularly as a part of water quality monitoring.
Source- Das at al., (2015).
Temperature – 25-300c
Salinity – less then 0.5ppt(depends on species)
NH3- 0.5 mg/l
Source- Das et al, (2015).
o Sandy bottom is preferred.
o Avoid acidic and red tide water.
o Easy for transportation, electricity, nearby feed source and
The MOA, Government of India, has classified reservoir as small
(<1000 ha), medium (1000 to 5000 ha) and large (>5000 ha) for the
purpose of fisheries management.
India has 19,370 reservoir spread over more than 15 states with an
estimate 3.15 million ha surface area at full capacity (Sugunan,
It has been reported that more than 15 states had adopted the cage
culture technology in inland water with fish production in the range
of 15-17 kg /m3/year (Sharma, et al., 2015).
Cage farming has been proven successful in the states of Jharkhand
and Chhattisgarh (Das and Sharma 2015).
state No. of
1. Andhra Pradesh 144
2. Bihar 96
3. Madhya Pradesh 192
4. Odisha 96
5. Chhattisgarh 264
6. Jharkhand 96
7. Gujrat 200
8. Karnataka 48
state No. of
9. Tamil Nadu 48
10. Uttar Pradesh 96
11. Arunanchal Pradesh 48
12. Assam 48
13. Maharashtra 144
14. Rajasthan 48
15. Mizoram 48
16. Tripura 48
Source- Jha et al, 2013, Suganan 2015.
The total number of reservoir in the state is 1770
covering an area of 0.89 lakh ha.
99% of reservoir belongs to small category and
covered 54% area of total reservoir and 25% and
21% for medium and large reservoirs, respectively.
Cage size used in the state is stored at 6m x4mx4m
2 to 4 batteries with 24 cages are used in the state.
11 cages have been set up in the state for the
purpose of fish seed culture (DOF, 2016).
S. no. Reservoir District Area (ha) Unit
1. Saroda sagar Kabirdham 232 4 battery
2. Chhirpani Kabirdham 259 4 battery
3. Ghongha Bilaspur 436 2 battery
4. Torenga Raipur 339 2 battery
5. Jhumka Koriya 551 4 battery
6. Gondli Durg 1118 2 battery
7. Ghunghutta Sarguja 762 2 battery
8. Bango Korba 11500 2 battery
Source: Department of Fisheries, Govt. of CG, 2016
Economically viable cage culture is practiced in inland water bodies of
Some of species cultured in cage are:
Most cultured species in Chinese carp, Tilapia, Cat fishes.
Exotic species Cat fishes Shellfish
•Wallago attu •pangasius sp. Calrias magur •Macrobrachium
• IMC •Tilapia sp. Heteropneustes
• Puntius sarana •Chinese carp Channa sp.
Source- Das et al, (2015).
The stocking density and size of at time of stocking vary
according to requirements, depending on growth and survival.
Source;- Bhowmick, Das (2015)
Species Stock Size Stage
IMC 250-300 nos./m3 15-25mm Fry to fingerling
30-38 nos./m3 100-120mm Fingerling to grow-out
Pangasius 500-700 nos./m3 20mm Fry to fingerling
60-100 nos./m3 50-60mm Fingerling to grow-out
Tilapia 80-100 nos./m3 70-80mm Fingerling to grow-out
Cat fishes 50-300/m3 60-80mm Finegrling to grow- out
Occupy a small area of river, canal or reservoir.
Cage can be available and cheap materials.
Poor farming can manage small cage culture.
Fish can be stocked with high density fast growth.
Yield and profit are high.
Easy to harvest.
Disease out break is common:
- High density,
- Contamination from other,
- Quick change of environment,
Culture cycle depends much on season and culture cage is
affected by flood, storm and strong waves.
In some case, cage becomes obstacles for transportation and
High stocking density can be done in such culture
Utilization of open reservoir.
Less time fast growth rate with supplementary
Suitable for culture of hardy species (e.g.- monosex
Entrepreneurship and employment opportunity leading
to improvement of the people.
Karnatak, Gunjan., Kumar, Vikash., 2014 Potential of cage
aquaculture in Indian reservoir, International Journal of Fisheries
and Aquatic Studies; 1(6): 108-112.
Bhandarkar, P Mukesh., JK, Sundaray., Anant, PN. and Pradhan, S.,
2017 Aquaculture Development in Chhattisgarh, India: What, Why
and how? International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic studies;
Das, A. K., Meena, D. K., and Sharma, A. P., 2014 Cage Farming in
an Indian Reservoir, World Aquaculture Article 56-58.
Kumar, Vikash., Karnatak, Gunjan., P., Mishal., Das,A. K., Hassan,
M. A., Sharma, A.P., 2015 Potential Species For Cage Aquaculture
In Indian Reservoirs, World Aquaculture Article 46-48.
Sugunan V V, Tripathi S D, Cruz D Johnson, Guidelines for
cage culture in inland open water bodies of India, Department
of animal husbandry, dairying & fisheries, NFDB publication
Priented – September 2016.
Department of fisheries, Government of Chhattisgarh 2016-
Primary source Department of fisheries, Kawardha (Dist-
Sharma, A. P., Srkar,U.K., Mishal,P., Karnatak, Gunjan and
Das, A. K., 2015 Present status, potential and prospects of
cage culture of fisheries enhancement in Indian reservoir,
proceedings of the international symposium on cage
Aquaculture in Asia Kochi, India 118-137.