Articles

Fisheries Research Station

Junagadh Agricultural University

Port Okha– 361350 Dist : Jamnagar

Year of Establishment : 1969
Introduction:
Port Okha is a coastal town in Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat state in India.Geographically it is location in between 220 28’0 N 690 4’0’ E. It is a peninsular place, situated on a narrow strip of land and surrounded by sea on three sides;Gulf of Kutch on north-east side and Arabian Sea on west side. It has a sandy beach on Arabian Sea coast.It has a sea port on the lee side. Historically it was the first port on west coast of India. Indian Navy, Indian Coastguard, Indian Customs, Gujarat marine police and Marine Police Academy have their operational command centre at Okha.
Historical Importance:
Port Okha is linked to Dwarka situated some 32 km south, which is one of the foremost “Chardhams” place and is one of the “Sapta Puri – Dwarawati” in the country. Bet Dwarka is an inhabited island at mouth of Gulf of Kutch situated 3 km (2 mi) off the coast of Okha. According to a legend, Vishnu killed the demon Shankhasura on this island therefore known as “Bet Shankhodhar”. The Bet Island and Okha are the large source of traditional, auspicious and sacred conch shells (Shankh) having ritual and religious importance.
Ecological Importance:
Because of Geographical location, 12 kilometers wide belt of Arabian Sea right from Okha, Dwarka, Salaya and Alang till Jodiya is full of mysterious sea life. The southern Gulf between Okha to Navlakhi of Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts is declared as Marine National Park & Sanctuary (MNP&S). The revenue borders of Dwarka (Okha), Kalyanpur, Khambalia of Devbhumi Dwarka District mark the southern boundary of the marine protected area (MPA). The Marine Sanctuary when established in 1980 extended over an area of 270 sq. km., from Okha to Jodhya. The core area of 110 sq. km. was subsequently notified in 1982 as the Marine Park, comprising areas of 7,000 ha off Okha in the west and 4,000 ha off Jamnagar to the east.
The MNPS supports considerable species diversity. One study reported a total of 1,127 species of flora and fauna in the MPA (The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park and Sanctuary: A Case Study by Nilanjana Biswas). These include molluscs (including auspicious, divine and sacred conch shells “Shankh” species Turbinella pyrum/Xancus pyrum- Varity Obsetusa), turtles and marine mammals: dolphins, whales etc. There are many species of fishes, commercially important prawn, crabs, sea snakes, sea horse, Sea anemones, Jelly Fishes, Starfishes, octopus, oysters, hard and soft corals, sponges, brown, green and red algae, etc. The floral property and richness of this place is next to none in the world.
Fisheries Research Station, J.A.U., Okha is strategically very important.
Demographic Profile of Okha:           
Port Okha is spread over in 5 Km2 area. According to 2011 census population is 62,052 and according to 18th Pasudhan counting report (courtesy: State Fisheries Dept. Okha) there are totally 210 houses of fisherman and their population (772 male and 726 female) is 1498 numbers. Out of which 394 are fully engaged in fishing activities. The main occupation is fishing and allied business here. There are 20 coastal villages near buy Okha and Dwarka among these Okha and Dwarka are two major and important marine fish landing centers of the State. In Okha totally 560 fishing boats (11 OBM and 549 IBM) are registered locally and engaged in fishing in which approximately 3887 fisherman are involved. The majority of fisherman population and boats are migratory from different coastal districts of Gujarat. The number of migratory boats varies from 2500 to 3000 (inclusive OBM and IBM) in which approximately 20000 to 25000 fisherman are engaged and directly employed in fishing activities. Tata Chemicals Ltd Mithapur, which is 10 km away towards Dwarka and visitors coming to Dwarka and Bet Dwarka for pilgrimage are another sources of livelihood here.
Fisheries Research Station located on the northern side of Okha Township on seashore is very crucial because of geographical location and the site is very rich in marine flora and fauna diversity.
Establishment History of Fisheries Research Station-Okha:
This research station initially established during 1969 by Ministry of Fisheries, Government of Gujarat, was named as “Marine Biological Research Station” (MBRS) basically. The main objective was to carry out survey of pelagic and demersal fishery resources along with effect of industrial effluents on the biota of the affected area and research.
On 29th February 1992 (afternoon) this MBRS was transferred and handed over to Gujarat Agricultural University, Sardar Krushi Nagar, Datiwada.  Than after, MBRS is named and recognized as “Fisheries Research Station” (FRS), which has started functioning from 1st March 1992. Most of the research and extension activities and infrastructure were transferred to GAU except mechanized boats and resource survey scheme.
As a result of bifurcation of Gujarat Agricultural University in to four different Agricultural Universities in 2004, this FRS is functioning under Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh.
Present Staff Position at Fisheries Research Station, Port-Okha:
Sr. No.
Name
Designation
Qualification
Remarks
1.
S. R. Thaker
Research Officer,
Head of The Dept. and DDO
M.Sc.
-
2.
A. S. Kotiya
Assistant Research Officer
M.F.Sc.
Working on pull at FRS, Mahuva
3.
M. P. Patel
Assistant Professor
M.F.Sc.
Working on pull at FRS, Okha
4.
M. K. Bhalala
Senior Research Assistant
M. F.Sc.
-
5.
T. V. Kandoria
Lab. Assistant
B. Sc. (Chemistry)
Working on pull at College of Fisheries, Veraval
6.
M. H. Murim
Field man
9th Pass
-

Approved staff Position and Vacant Post at Fisheries Research Station, Okha:

Sr. No.
Designation of Approved post or position
Class
Number of approved post/position
Filled Post
Vacant post
Remarks
A
Fisheries Research Non-Plan Scheme B.H.:7401
 
1
Research Officer
1
1
1
-
S. R. Thaker is functioning
2
Assistant Research Officer
2
3
1
2
A. S. Kotiya posted on pull at Mahuva
3
Superintendent of Fisheries
2
1
0
1
-
4
Senior Research Assistant
3
5
1
4
M. K. Bhalala is working
5
Photographer-cum-cameraman
3
1
0
1
Retired, Vacant from 01/11/18
6
Senior clerk
3
1
0
1
-
7
Junior clerk
3
1
0
1
-
8
Junior clerk-cum-typist
3
1
0
1
-
9
Electrician
3
1
0
1
-
10
Laboratory assistant
3
1
1
0
T. V. Kandoria posted on pull at college of Fisheries, Verval
11
Field man
3
2
1
1
M. H. Murim is working
12
Peon
4
1
0
1
Retired, Vacant from 01/01/19
13
Sweeper
4
1
0
1
Retired, Vacant from
14
Total
 
20
05
15
 
B
Establishment Of Industrial Training Institute (ITI) Plan Scheme B.H.:12417
15
Instructor (fisheries)
3
2
0
2
-
16
Total
 
02
0
02

 

Research projects and schemes – ongoing  :
Sl. No.
Scheme & Budget head
Details of the activities and projects
1
Non Plan: B.H.: 7401:
Matsya Sanshodhan Yojana 
Study of Bio-assay Test on Industrial effluent released in Marine Coastal area.
2
Plan Scheme: B. H.: 12950
 
Establishment & Development of Research in Fisheries at Okha
 
  • Effect of dietary supplement of Spirulina sp. on growth and survival in Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931)
  • Study of copepod diversity in coastal region of Okhamandal and its culture potential as live feed.
  • Seed production of mud spiny lobster Panulirus polyphagus (Herbst, 1793) in hatchery.
  • Seed production of mud crab Scylla serrata in hatchery.
  • Heavy metal analysis in the selected species of Cephalopod, Shrimp and fish of Saurashtra region.
  • Effect of dressing on quality parameters of dry salted croaker (Otolithes cuvieri) during chill storage.
  • Effect of probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum on growth, survival, disease resistance and stress tolerance of Litopenaeus vannamei juveniles.
3
Plan Scheme: B. H.: 12581
Feasibility of mass culture of marine red alga Kappaphycus alvarezii (Shchimitz) on the Saurashtra region, west coast of India.  
  • Study of seaweed diversity at selected intertidal areas of Saurashtra and Diu (UT).
  • Estimation of in vitro antioxidant potential of the seaweeds available at coast of Okha.
  • Estimation of agar and alginic acid from the seaweeds available at coast of Okha.
4
Plan Scheme: B. H.: 12901
 
Strengthening of Extension Program in  Fisheries at Okha
 
  • Training on “Preparation of liquid seaweed fertilizer and its uses”.
  • Demonstration of seaweed cultivation on site.
  • Preparation of seaweed greeting cards.
  • Training on lobster and crab stuffing.
  • Training on various freshwater and marine water Aquaculture practices.
  • Training on harvest and post-harvest technology
  • Training on processing and value addition.  
Museum:
Marine biologically important specimens of academic, research and ecological interest are displayed in the museum. The collection is one of the largest comprised of marine fauna. Many visitors, UG/PG students, extension workers and researchers from all over the India avail the benefits of the marine treasure.
5
B. H.: 12417
Industrial Training Institute (ITI)
Industrial Training Institute - ITI course is sanctioned for generating skill manpower for fisheries sector.
Brief Achievements:
  • Repeated spawning in commercially important shrimp P. indicus.
  • Induced maturation and spawning of P. monodon in captivity.
  • Maintenance of marine aquarium fish Pomacantus spp. for more than 3 years in captivity.
  • Encouraging results in Agricultural crops (Groundnut) by the application of Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer.
  • Successful completion of study of Biometrics of mullet (Mugil cephalus) with a recommendation for fishermen community. Recommendation was included in Fisheries Act, 2003, Gujarat.
  • Sea ranching of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) for natural population recruitment. 600 new born babies have been sea ranched in between 1995-2000 for protecting and preserving the endangered species of sea turtles (Schedule I species).
  • Successful mass scale Kappaphycus cultivation at Okha; 5-7 fold growth were achieved in 45 days.
Photographs of Different activities and Products:
Kappaphycus alvarezii Raft in the sea
Fully matured seaweed Mass scale seaweed cultivation
 
Seaweed Sargassum spp. collection and Drying
 
Liquid seaweed Fertilizer produced from seaweed Sargassum spp.
 
Seaweed Greeting Cards
 
Seaweed Herbarium Sheets
Dried and stuffed Crab Dried and stuffed Lobster
Other agency projects – Completed in 2018
(Funded By Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services)
Sl. No.
Scheme & Budget head
Details of the project and objectives
1
Non Plan: B.H.: 18025-04
 
Effect of Optically Active Substances on diversity in Phytoplankton Community Structure off Gujarat.
 
  • Long term measurements of bio-optical and physico-chemical parameters.
  • To create seasonal libraries for local phytoplankton community structure.
  • Understanding the impact of hydrography on ecology and distribution of Phytoplankton community structure.
  • Understanding the impact of active substances, such as CDOM and TSM, on estimation of Phytoplankton concentration from satellite.
  • Capacity building for ecological studies at College of Fisheries &/or Okha Research Centre (JAU), Veraval
2
Plan Scheme: B. H.: 18025-04  
 
Ocean state forecastvalidation and research (off Okha and Veraval coast of Gujarat).
 
  • To establish a coastal observatory-wave rider buoy to start with (Data generated from this rider buoy will provide scientific information about oceanic forecast.)
  • To validate the sea state forecast for Rupen/Okha coasts, Gujarat.
  • To disseminate sea-state forecast to sea-farers and coastal population via various models and create awareness about the same.
  • To conduct user interaction and awareness meetings.
  • To help improve existing models and provide logistic in strengthening existing array of observations for both.
Brief Achievements:-
  • Approx. 3000 mobile numbers of fishermen community were taken and registered with INCOIS & Reliance foundation (Transmission partner of OSF). AText message and voice message transmitted to users on daily basis.
  • The message showing one day prior forecast of waves (wave direction & wave height) wind (wind velocity & wind direction) for 0 to 20 km and 20-50 km from shore of Okha at about 15:00 hrs. is being transmitted in Gujarati language to registered mobile user fishermen on daily basis.
  • The message for Potential Fishing Zone showing location (latitude & longitude), distance from Okha shore and depth of location where fish catch is supposed to be in large amount is being transmitted in Gujarati language to registered mobile user fisherman on regular basis.
Wave rider buoy deployed in sea Forecast by SMS

Infrastructure and major equipment available:

The Fisheries Research Station at Okha is having two different adjoining campus.

The main office campus:is speeded over in approx. 17000 Sq. Mtr. area in which office, library, Training hall/conference room, museum, laboratory, hatchery, store, water storage tanks/ponds and pumping, rearing ponds, filters etc. are available in the main office campus.

There are totally 43 quarters (A: category-10, B: category- 12, C: category- 16, D: category–4 and E: catogery-1) are available with FRS, Okha, out of which 09 quarters (E: catogory-1 quarter, A: category- 4 quarters and C: category- 4 quarters) located in the main office campus.

The second campus-Staff residential quarter campus:is spreader over in approx. 8400 Sq. Mt. area and having totally 34 quarters (A: category- 6 quarters, B: category- 12 quarters, C: category-12 quarters and D: category – 4 quarters) also located in this main office campus. Out of these 34 quarters, 30 quarters ( A: category – 6, B: category- 12 and C: category -12 quarters) are allotted to IG/ Director (Research), Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Government of India, Ministry Of Home Affairs, New Delhi for National Academy for Coastal Security (NACS) on 7th Feb. 2018 on temporary basis.

Infrastructure
Office Campus View Staff Quarter Campus View
Office Building Library
Major Equipment:
BOD incubator, Bacteriological incubator, Laminar flow, Fat extraction soxhlet, Deep freeze, Mufflel furnace, Vacuum oven, Oven, Wet grinder, Autoclave, Centrifuge, Microscope etc. are available with this center.
Laboratories:
Pollution Laboratory, Processing laboratory, Algal culture laboratory, Biotechnology and Tissue culture laboratory etc. are facilities at this center.
 Laboratory
Pollution analysis Lab Pollution analysis Lab
Processing Lab Processing Lab
Museum
Publications:
1. Research Papers Published by the Faculty: 26
2. Booklet, Pamphlet and useful Articles: 8
Transfer of Technologies / Extension Activities:
1. Seaweed liquid fertilizer Preparation techniques.
2. Seaweed greeting card Preparation techniques.
3. Techniques for Stuffing of crab and Lobster.
4. On site demonstration of Seaweed cultivation.
List of Recommendations / Scientific Information :

Recommendation for scientific community: (2019)

  • Total 19 copepod species were recorded from coastal areas of Okha mandal. Eight species of calanoid copepods mainly Eucalanus elongatus, Calanus minor and Paracalanus parvus; five species of harpacticoid copepods mainly Longipedia weberi, Microsetella norvegica and six species of cyclopoid copepods mainly Oncea venusta and Oithana similis were recorded. Higher copepod diversity was found in Okha area followed by Mithapur and Dwarka. Higher diversity was found in monsoon season followed by winter and least in summer. Macrosetella gracilis and Oithanabrevi cornis were found culture potential.
  • The highest % agar yield 17.98 + 1.87 was observed in Gracilaria corticata among the Rhodophyceae species available at Okha coast. The highest gel strength (63.46 + 2.66 g/cm2) of agar was observed in Gracilaria verucosa among Rhodophyceae species available at Okha coast. Among the phaeophycean species available at Okha coast, highest (40.21 + 1.95) % alginic acid content was observed in Sargassum wightii.
  • From the seaweed available at Okha coast, the highest in vitro antioxidant potential was observed in Sargassumjohnstoniiwith the value of1.72 + 0.22 DPPH (2,2, Diphenyl-1-Picrylhydrazy) activity Eq. mM Ascorbic acid/g FW.
  • The brackish water shrimp growing farmers are recommended to stock Littopenaeus vannameishrimp seeds @ 25 pc/m2 to obtain better survival, growth and economical return. (2018)
  • Litopenaeus vannamei Shrimp Seed Litopenaeus vannamei Adult Shrimp
  • The fisherman/suppliers are recommended to give 20 % Aloe vera gel extract dip treatment for 30 minutes before chill storage of Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta) for better quality up to 15 days shelf-life. (2018)

Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta) Aloe vera used for treatment 
  • Hatchery entrepreneurs are recommended to use 15 ppt salinity water for larval (zoea and mysis) rearing and 20 ppt salinity water for post larval (PL1 to PL20) rearing of Penaeus monodon (2015).
Shrimp Larvae Shrimp seed
  • Fish farmers of Saurashtra are recommended to feed gray mullet Mugil cephalus fry reared in seawater with 35% protein incorporated diet in first 45 days for obtaining higher growth and survival. (2014)
  • The fish farmers of Saurashtra are recommended that the fry of cultivable mullet species M. Cephalus are available abundantly, during February at Rupen and Harshad creeks ; M. Seheli during October-November at Khatumba and M. Parsia during August-September at Rupen and Harshad Creeks. (2013)
  • Thirteen species of rotifers are found in Okhamandal region. They are found in higher diversity as well as quantity in Surajkaradi pond and Gomati creek than seacoast areas in Okhamandal region in monsoon and post monsoon seasons. Rotifers are more abundant in less salinity. (2012)
  • Finfish/crustacean hatchery entrepreneurs are recommended to use 15 to 20 ppt salinity water at 25oC to achieve higher production of rotifer, Brachionus rotundiformis in 10 days. (2011)
Rotifer
  • It is recommended that carrageenana yielding marine alga Kappaphycus alvarezii can be grown profitably in Okha mandal region and fivefold growth can be achieved in 45 days from January onwards. (2011).
  • Among the available red seaweed (Rhodophyceae) species of Gulf of Kutch, maximum iodine content is found in Asperogopsis entestinalis (555 mg/100 gm DW) followed by Rhodomenis australis (151 mg/100 gm DW).(for Scientific community). (2011)
  • It is recommended to salt farmers and aquaculturist of coastal Saurashtra region to use 160 ppt salinity of sea water as a rearing medium for Artemia (Artemia fransiscana) to obtain higher cysts production.(2010)
Artemia Cysts
  • It is recommended to incorporate probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus) @ 20% in feed during culture of shrimp for higher production (2007)
  • It is recommend that the 20% Prosopis juliflora pod powder, incorporated along with fish meal-10%, soyabean meal-40%, wheat Bran-15% and cotton seed oil cake-15% in pellated feed is better for higher production as well as survival rate in mullet fish culture. (2007)
  • It is recommended to scientific community and fishermen that gravid female (Length 375mm & above) and male (Length 341mm & above) of Mugil seheli are available in coastal sea water of Okha mandal region, during its major breeding season late August to September and minor breeding season February. In order to maintain the population of M. seheli, Fishermen of Okha Mandal region should not catch the fish during this period”. (2005)
  • Recommendation is made for the farmers to use 3.5 % of liquide seaweed fertilizer made up of Sargassum Spp” gives good yield in groundnut variety GG-2.(2005)
  • To maintain the population of Mugil cephalus in natural water, the recommendation is made for the fishermen of Saurashtra region that the mesh size of gear (gill net) should be more than 93 mm as the fish obtain first maturity when the circumference of head was 189 mm. This will provide a chance of spawning high fecundity fish at least once in its life cycle. Moreover fishermen should not catch the fish at the time of breeding season (Dec-Jan.). (2002).
Future Outlook
  • Development of seed production of economically important marine shell fish and fin fish.
  • Development of marine aquarium fish breeding technology.
  • Culture techniques of economically important seaweed like Alginophytes, Agarophytes and Carrageenophytes.
  • Establishment of a centre for forecasting biomass (fish intensity) for marine fishermen in collaboration with related research institutes.
  • Cage culture of economically important marine fishes and crustacean like Lobsters, crabs etc in protected bays and lagoons.
  • Establishment of center of excellence-Advanced training center at Okha.
Contact:
Surendra R. Thaker
Research Officer and HOD,
Fisheries Research Station,
Junagadh Agricultural University,
Okha- 361 350
Dist.: Devbhumi Dwarka,
St.: Gujarat, India
Phone (O): 02892-262056
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.