Brackishwater Aquaculture: Opportunities and Challenges for Meeting Livelihood Demand in Indian Sundarbans

  • T. K. GhoshalEmail author
  • Debasis De
  • G. Biswas
  • Prem Kumar
  • K. K. Vijayan
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 30)


Brackishwater farming in India has been a traditional practice for centuries and confined mainly to the bheries (manmade impoundments in coastal wetlands) in Sundarbans, West Bengal, India. Scientific brackishwater aquaculture started in India with tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) farming initiated during early 1990s. With the introduction of Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) during 2009, Indian aquaculture industry has grown rapidly. In addition, certain marine/ brackishwater fish such as, seabass, mullets, milkfish and pearlspot have shown a lot of promise. Successful domestication of indigenous Indian white shrimp (Penaeus indicus) and experimental farming using hatchery–produced seed by ICAR–Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) showed encouraging results. Besides domestic consumption, fishery products exported from the state were 1.05 million tons of value Indian rupee (INR) 33,4420 million during 2015–16. Indian Sundarbans located in the south–east end of West Bengal offers congenial environment for growth of variety of fishes and shrimps. Frozen shrimp and live crab are the main export items from brackishwater aquaculture in Sundarbans. As the economic benefit is greater, there is a tendency of Sundarbans dwellers to shift from fishing to aquaculture for better livelihood. There is vast scope for sustainable development of brackishwater aquaculture in Sundarbans to meet the livelihood demand utilizing the unused and underused areas and adopting advanced farming practices. Challenges faced by Sundarbans aquafarmers need to be tackled by appropriate management tools like social mobilization of aqua producers, technology assessment and refinement, participatory planning, and capacity building of key stakeholders.


Sundarbans Brackishwater aquaculture Technology development Biosecurity measures Species diversification Sustainable development Livelihood Opportunities Challenges 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. K. Ghoshal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Debasis De
    • 2
  • G. Biswas
    • 1
  • Prem Kumar
    • 1
  • K. K. Vijayan
    • 2
  1. 1.ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, Kakdwip Research CentreKakdwipIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater AquacultureChennaiIndia

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