Illish Fish Farming in india

Illish fish farming is gaining popularity in India due to the high demand for this delicious and nutritious fish. Illish, also known as Hilsa or Pulasa, is a highly prized species that is widely consumed in various parts of the country. In this article, we will explore the techniques and considerations involved in Illish fish farming in India.

Understanding Illish Fish

Illish fish, scientifically known as Tenualosa ilisha, is a popular fish species found in the coastal waters of the Indian subcontinent. It is known for its unique taste, tender flesh, and high nutritional value. Illish is an anadromous fish, which means it migrates from the sea to freshwater rivers for breeding purposes.

Potential for Illish Fish Farming in India

Illish fish farming has immense potential in India due to the high demand for this fish both domestically and internationally. It is considered a delicacy and is especially popular during festive occasions and celebrations. By cultivating Illish fish in controlled environments, farmers can meet the growing market demand while also conserving wild populations.

Suitable Climate and Water Conditions

Illish fish farming requires a tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 25°C and 35°C. The fish is well adapted to brackish water and can tolerate salinities ranging from 5 ppt to 30 ppt. It prefers water bodies with moderate currents and good dissolved oxygen levels.

Selecting the Right Location

When choosing a location for Illish fish farming, several factors need to be considered. Access to a reliable water source, availability of suitable land, proximity to markets, and transportation facilities are crucial considerations. Additionally, the selected site should have favorable environmental conditions and be free from pollution sources.

Setting up the Fish Farm

Setting up a successful Illish fish farm requires careful planning and infrastructure development. It involves constructing ponds or tanks, installing water supply systems, and ensuring proper drainage. Adequate fencing and security measures are essential to protect the farm from predators and unauthorized access.

Pond Preparation and Management

Before stocking the fish, the ponds need to be prepared to create a suitable environment for Illish growth. This involves removing unwanted vegetation, leveling the pond bottom, and applying lime to maintain the pH balance. Proper pond management practices, such as regular water exchange, are crucial to maintain optimal water quality.

Stocking Illish Fingerlings

Illish fingerlings are the young fish that are ready for stocking in the farm ponds. These fingerlings are obtained from reputable hatcheries or breeding centers. The fingerlings should be healthy, disease-free, and of a suitable size (around 5-7 cm) for optimum growth in the farm.

Feeding and Nutrition

Illish fish have specific nutritional requirements for their growth and development. They are primarily fed with formulated feeds containing a balanced combination of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. The feed should be of good quality and provided in appropriate quantities to ensure healthy growth.

Water Quality Management

Maintaining good water quality is essential for the well-being of Illish fish. Regular monitoring of parameters like dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels is crucial. Proper aeration, water filtration, and regular water exchange help to maintain optimal water conditions and prevent stress or diseases.

Disease Prevention and Control

Like any other fish species, Illish fish are susceptible to various diseases. Implementing biosecurity measures, such as regular health checks, quarantine protocols, and vaccination programs, can help prevent disease outbreaks. Prompt identification and treatment of any signs of illness are vital to minimize losses.

Harvesting and Marketing

Illish fish farming requires patience, as it takes around 12-18 months for the fish to reach marketable size. The fish can be harvested using various methods, such as seining, gill netting, or trap fishing. Proper handling and transportation techniques should be followed to ensure the fish reaches the market in optimal condition.

Profitability and Sustainability

Illish fish farming can be a profitable venture if managed efficiently. However, it is important to consider the cost of inputs, market demand, and price fluctuations. Implementing sustainable practices, such as responsible use of resources, proper waste management, and adherence to legal regulations, is crucial for long-term success.

Government Initiatives and Support

The Indian government recognizes the potential of Illish fish farming and has launched various initiatives to support fish farmers. These include financial assistance, technical guidance, training programs, and subsidies for infrastructure development. Availing these government schemes can significantly benefit aspiring Illish fish farmers.

Challenges and Future Prospects

While Illish fish farming offers significant opportunities, there are challenges that farmers may encounter. Limited availability of quality fingerlings, high production costs, market competition, and climate change are some of the factors that need to be addressed. Continued research and innovation can contribute to the sustainable growth of the Illish fish farming industry in India.


Illish fish farming in India presents a promising opportunity for farmers to meet the rising demand for this delectable fish. By adopting proper techniques, managing water quality, and implementing sustainable practices, farmers can establish profitable and environmentally friendly Illish fish farms. With the support of government initiatives and continuous efforts towards improvement, Illish fish farming can contribute to the growth and development of the aquaculture sector in India.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Illish fish?

Illish fish, also known as Hilsa or Pulasa, is a highly prized fish species found in the Indian subcontinent. It is known for its unique taste and nutritional value.

What is the suitable climate for Illish fish farming?

Illish fish farming requires a tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 25°C and 35°C.

How long does it take for Illish fish to reach marketable size?

It takes around 12-18 months for Illish fish to reach marketable size, depending on various factors such as feed quality and environmental conditions.

Are there any government schemes to support Illish fish farming in India?

Yes, the Indian government has launched various initiatives to support Illish fish farmers, including financial assistance, technical guidance, and subsidies for infrastructure development.

What are the challenges in Illish fish farming?

Some challenges in Illish fish farming include limited availability of quality fingerlings, high production costs, market competition, and the impact of climate change.

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