Viral Fish Farming

Fish farming, also known as pisciculture, is a rapidly growing sector in India. Among the various species of fish cultivated, viral or murrel fish farming has gained significant attention due to its high demand and economic potential. This article delves into the world of viral fish farming in India, exploring its benefits, challenges, and best practices.

1. Overview of Viral Fish

Viral, also known as murrel, is a highly prized freshwater fish species in India. Scientifically known as Channa striata, it is renowned for its excellent taste and high nutritional value. Viral fish are carnivorous and have a robust growth rate, making them suitable for commercial farming.

2. Potential of Viral Fish Farming in India

Viral fish farming has immense potential in India due to several factors. Firstly, there is a significant domestic demand for this fish, both in urban and rural areas, owing to its exquisite taste. Secondly, viral fish has a high market value, which ensures good returns for farmers. Lastly, the adaptability of viral fish to diverse climatic conditions and their disease resistance make them an attractive choice for aquaculture.

3. Setting Up a Viral Fish Farm

To start a viral fish farm, several key aspects need consideration. Firstly, identify a suitable location with access to a consistent water source. Next, determine the scale of the farm based on available resources and market demand. Constructing well-designed ponds or tanks is crucial for the successful cultivation of viral fish.

4. Pond Preparation and Management

Proper pond preparation is essential for creating a suitable environment for viral fish. The pond should have a proper slope, and the soil should be clayey to retain water. Ensure that the pond is free from any toxic substances and predators. Regular monitoring and maintenance of the pond, including water exchange and removal of debris, are crucial for optimal fish growth.

5. Water Quality and Aeration

Maintaining good water quality is vital for the health and growth of viral fish. Regular testing of water parameters such as pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and ammonia levels should be carried out. Proper aeration systems, such as paddlewheels or aerators, should be installed to ensure adequate oxygen supply to the fish.

6. Feeding and Nutrition

A well-balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for the growth and development of viral fish. Commercially available fish feeds containing a high percentage of protein are recommended. Additionally, incorporating natural feed sources like earthworms, small fish, and insects can supplement the diet. Feeding should be done in controlled quantities and at regular intervals to avoid wastage and overfeeding.

7. Disease Management

Preventing and managing diseases is essential for the success of viral fish farming. Regular health checks should be conducted, and any signs of disease should be addressed promptly. Maintaining proper water quality, hygiene, and following biosecurity measures can significantly reduce the risk of diseases. Consultation with aquaculture experts or veterinarians can help in disease prevention and control.

8. Harvesting and Marketing

Viral fish farming typically has a harvest cycle of 6-8 months. Once the fish reach the desired size, they can be harvested using nets or traps. Proper handling and transportation techniques should be followed to ensure minimal stress to the fish. Developing effective marketing strategies, including partnerships with local markets, restaurants, or direct sales to consumers, can help farmers obtain good prices for their produce.

9. Government Initiatives and Support

The Indian government has recognized the potential of fish farming and has implemented various initiatives to support farmers in this sector. Schemes like the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) provide financial assistance, training programs, and technical guidance to promote viral fish farming. Farmers can avail themselves of these schemes and subsidies to set up and expand their fish farms.

10. Profitability and Future Prospects

Viral fish farming has shown promising profitability for farmers. The increasing demand for this fish and the rising popularity of seafood consumption present favorable market conditions. With proper planning, management, and adherence to best practices, viral fish farming can be a lucrative venture with a bright future.


Viral fish farming offers immense potential for farmers in India. With its delicious taste, nutritional value, and high market demand, this aquaculture practice can provide a sustainable source of income. By following proper techniques in pond preparation, water management, feeding, and disease control, farmers can maximize their yields and profitability.


1. Is viral fish farming suitable for small-scale farmers?

Yes, viral fish farming can be practiced on small-scale farms as it requires relatively less space and investment compared to other forms of aquaculture.

2. What is the market demand for viral fish?

The market demand for viral fish is significant, both within India and in international markets, due to its unique taste and nutritional value.

3. Are there any specific climatic conditions required for viral fish farming?

Viral fish are adaptable to various climatic conditions, making them suitable for farming in different regions of India.

4. How can I market my viral fish produce?

You can explore partnerships with local markets, restaurants, or directly sell your produce to consumers through online platforms or farmer’s markets.

5. What financial support is available from the government for viral fish farming?

The government provides various schemes and subsidies through organizations like the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) to support farmers in viral fish farming.