Common Carp: A Potential Species for Employment Generation in
Sajid Maqsood*, Prabjeet Singh, Munir Hassan Samoon and Gohar Bilal Wani
of Fisheries, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and
*Corresponding author E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org.
The common carp (Bangkok Strain), Cyprinus carpio is one of
the most widely farmed fish globally. In India, it is one of the four
fish species commonly farmed, either singly or in combination with
the Indian Major carps (IMC;s), catla, rohu and mrigal. But in
temperate climatic condition of Kashmir, it can be culture with
indigenous Schizothorax spp (Snow trout) under composite fish
culture and with Grass carp and Silver carp under polyculture
technique. These carp species cultured using diverse aquaculture
technique having the compatibility with the temperate climatic
conditions of Kashmir have got the great potential for generating
employment among the rural population of Kashmir valley.
Common carp introduced in Kashmir waters in 1956 ranks first
vis-à-vis its availability through capture fishery sector. However,
due to increasing population and growing awareness that capture
fisheries are exhaustible, attention is warranted towards finding
possibilities offered by aquaculture through semi-intensive/extensive
techniques for providing alternative animal protein in the valley.
Common carp, an exotic fish is the most suitable species for culture
in small seasonal water bodies and pond of different sizes. The fish
has been categorized as eurythermal i.e, it can withstand wide range
of temperature fluctuation, so it is well suited for culture in the
climatic conditions of Kashmir Valley. Common carp is a omnivorous,
capable of withstanding fluctuation in the water levels and other
adverse environmental factors. Besides, common carp has an inviting
appearance and a delectable taste, which imparts a remarkable market
In rural areas, youth can take up the breeding and rearing of common
carp. Kashmir valley supports a large
population of sheep. In aquaculture, sheep manuring is reported for
enhancing carp growth (Jhingran & Sehgal, 1978) in certain parts
of India. The production potential of aquaculture is location
specific. The production efficiency of cultivable species can be
enhanced through application of latest scientific techniques. Kashmir
valley does not have any sound aquaculture background unlike most of
the states with tropical waters. Successful and sustainable
aquaculture depends upon the provision of nutritionally adequate,
environment friendly and economically viable feeds which constitute
60-70% of the expenses on aquaculture operations. In order to evolve
low cost diets, use of locally available conventional and non
conventional feed ingredients is warranted. Locally available
silkworm pupae and soyabean are rich in protein and can substitute
the costly fishmeal which is not locally available. Culture of common
carp in the village ponds in Kashmir valley using kitchen refuse and
other run-off from the village as a source if input has shown the
production of level of 2.5-3 tonnes/ha in a grow out period of 12
months (Handbook of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ayyappan, 2006). This
simple technology could be profitably utilized in community ponds in
rural areas of Kashmir valley.
For the benefit of rural youth and entrepreneurs, some of the
important parameters for the breeding are elaborated here under:
Breeding Season: The
common carp breeds in confined waters throughout the year except in
extreme winter months due to very low temperature. Peak breeding
period is during Feberuary — March and July — August.
Male brood fish is identified by the roughness of the underside of
its pectoral fin, and deep pit-like genital opening. Milt exudes when
slight pressure is applied on the abdomen. Female is identified by
the big and soft belly, flattened ventral side, greater body depth
and location of genital opening is far backward. The underside of
the pectroral fin is smooth to touch.
The most suitable male and female brooders may be selected and kept
separately. Brooders are regularly fed on artificial diet comprising
of Ground nut oil cake and rice bran in 1:1 ratio at 3% of their body
weight of the total fish stock in the pond. For example, for 100 kg
weight of brood stock, the daily feed ration will be 3 kg. Either
this feed mixture could be fed to the fish in the form of balls or
pellets placed at particular locations at a specific time of the day.
This will ensure quick growth of the fish and the gonads will attain
maturity in a specific time for successful breeding operations.
Though breeding occurs in natural waters, controlled breeding
techniques ar employed for production of large quantity of common
carp seed free from possible contamination and mixing of unwanted
seeds. The maturity age of male and female and gonad development
particulars are given in Table 1.
In common carp breeding, one female and two
male brooders form a "set". The weight of one female brood fish
and two male brood fish should be more or less equal for ensuring
total breeding and fertilization of eggs.
The egg production capacity is called fecundity. The fecundity of the
female common carp brooder weighing about 1 kg is about one lakh
Common carp eggs are adhesive type. Hence, common carp requires
substrate to deposit eggs. For this purpose, aquatic weeds like
Hydrilla or Najas or bunches of nylon mops are uniformly distributed
inside the breeding hapa or cistern for attachment of the fertilized
eggs. About, 1.5-2 kg of weeds is sufficient for the attachment of
the fertilized eggs of one kg weight of female fish.
The selected brooders are carefully weighed
and released into a breeding pool ( Hapa or small tank or cement
cistern) in the evening. This breeding pool will serve as a space for
breeding and fertilization of eggs. Spawning will be usually in
spruts with short intervals in a single night. If they do not breed
within 36 hrs of keeping them in the hapa or cistern they are
returned to the stock ponds and other fish are selected for further
Breeding and Egg Collection:
Common carp generally breeds within 6 to 10 hrs after being released
in the breeding pool and by morning, the egg collectors could be seen
with millions of eggs. The fertilized eggs are dirty pale yellow in
colour whereas the unfertilized ones are opaque and whitish in
colour. After the breeding is over, the brooders are removed from the
breeding pool and weighed. The difference in weight before and after
breeding gives the weight of eggs released. The total number of eggs
released is calculated at the rate of about 700 no.'s per gram of
difference in weight of fish. These eggs along with the weeds or
nylon mops are transferred and spread uniformly in a series of
hatching hapas. About 1kg of egg collectors carrying nearly 40,000 — 1,00,000 eggs are kept in each hapa.
The incubation period of common carp is about 48-72 hrs at 28-31°C
water temperature. If the water temperature is less than this, the
incubation period prolongs. The hatching is usually over within this
duration if the temperature is condusive. After hatching is
completed, the hatchlings have to be kept in the hapas till the
yolk-sac is absorbed. Four to five days after breeding, the weeds are
carefully removed from the hapa and the spawn is collected.
The quantity of spawn is measured by perforated cups of known
capacity. The number of spawn per cup is determined @ 500 spawn / ml.
The spawn is either stocked in pre-prepared nurseries or transported
to long distances under oxygen packing for stocking. The spawn
attains the fry stage in about 2 to 3 weeks time in the nursery
ponds. The fry can be sold for farming in village ponds.
Common carp breeding will not only help in withstanding adverse
seasonal conditions but also in increasing fish seed production and
providing employment to rural youth, enhancing fish production and
utilization of particularly small water bodies. Common carp culture
will increase the income of fish farmers and thereby improving their
Once the healthy seed of common carp is
produced, the seed is stocked in the nursery earthen ponds of
suitable area (0.1-1 ha) and reared to markeatble size by adopting
the standard culture techniques viz poly and composite culture, which
holds the promise of giving handsome returns to the farmers.
1. Ayyappan, 2006. Handbook
of Fisheries and Aquaculture. ICAR,
New Delhi, Publication.
Seafood — Fish — Crustacea
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