Northeast

Induced breeding of Sareng successful

There is no widely practiced breeding protocol of Wallago attu, locally known as Sareng, in the world as there are no popular scientific hatchery techniques adopted for seed production of Sareng.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 26 Jun 2024, 4:29 am

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In a historic breakthrough, the induced breeding of Meitei Sareng (Wallago attu) has been successfully performed with indigenous technical knowledge combined with scientific knowledge by the local fish farmers in association with the officials of the Directorate of Fisheries, Manipur.

A scientific challenge has been overcome in the aquaculture world with this historic achievement in the fisheries sector in Manipur.

There is no widely practiced breeding protocol of Wallago attu, locally known as Sareng, in the world as there are no popular scientific hatchery techniques adopted for seed production of Sareng.

Chungkham Kopeshwor Singh, a progressive Sareng farmer has been able to carry out this rare scientific feat at his fish farm located at Wangoi Makha Leikai in Imphal West.

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He along with his associates namely Kulajit Hijam of Sagolband Tera Tongbram Leikai and Ningthoujam Basanta Singh of Khordak village have shared their knowledge of indigenous technical ideas in addition to the infrastructural support and scientific guidance provided by the State Fisheries department.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had announced the revival of Sareng, a species which once abundantly thrived in the rivers of Manipur and most relished by the local populace due to its extraordinary taste and health benefits during Ningol Chakkouba and Mangani Chakkouba.

Subsequently, the directorate of Fisheries took up the initiative of Manipur Chief Minister as a Pilot Project under the banner Sareng Project and started reviving the fish through pond culture practices.

Initially, the most painstaking task of importing Sareng eggs from Bangladesh and Myanmar by surface and air was provided by the State Fisheries department and facilitated to the local fish farmers who had expressed keen interest in rearing the species.

The first display of home grown live Sareng fish was made during the State Level Fish Crop Festival held in November, 2021 on the eve of Ningol Chakouba festival. With growing interests amongst the fish farmers, the following year witnessed open sale of 2,400 kilos of live Sareng cultured indigenously.

The local people of Manipur were overjoyed at the revival of Meitei Sareng. The grand success further motivated both the farmers and officials of the Fisheries directorate to study and explore scientific ways and means to propagate eggs locally as importing of eggs was hard to afford.

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Driven by the public demand for more Sareng, several attempts of induced breeding have been made by the stakeholders; however, the exceeding mortality of egg larvae against the survival rate has been observed in the attempts.

Undeterred by the successive failures, local fish farmers and fishery officials continued their endeavor of induced breeding with their accumulated knowledge and experiences until the breakthrough was achieved.
It may be mentioned that Meitei Sareng used to lay their eggs in the rivers in the state after travelling all the way from sea through the Chindwin and Manipur rivers.

Following the construction of Ithai Barrage which blocked their passage, the population of the indigenous Meitei Sareng was reduced to near extinction.

Before its recent revival, the people had been consuming the ones brought into the state from Assam and Bengal in ice packs.

However, even with the availability of fresh Sareng in recent years, the distinct flavour and original taste of Meitei Sareng is yet to be tasted by the people.

 

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First published:

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meitei sarengmanipur state fishwallago attuinduced breeding

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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