RRC Bangalore

Brief history of the Centre

The Regional Research Centre of ICAR-CIFA, Bengaluru has its origin in the Tank Fisheries Research (TFR) Unit which was established at Bangalore by the erstwhile Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Barrackpore, in 1962, with an objective of assessing the fishery resource potential of the Peninsular States of India.  Between 1963 and 1965, the TFR Unit became part of the composite Tank & Lacustrine Research Station of CIFRI with Headquarters at Tungabhadra Dam.  In 1965, the establishment was shifted back to Bangalore, after gathering some baseline data with respect to eco-biological status and fish productivity of tanks in the region, which had provided base scientific information for freshwater aquaculture development. The Karnataka Centre of the All India Coordinated Research Project on Air Breathing Fish Culture (established initially at Bhadra Reservoir Project in 1972), stationed at Bangalore since 1976,  was also merged with the Unit in 1983 to have a wider scope for tackling the region- specific fisheries problems.  With the reorganization of the erstwhile CIFRI in the year 1987, the Peninsular Aquaculture Division at Bangalore became functional in the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), Bhubaneswar, which was later renamed as Regional Research Centre, Bengaluru

In 1990, the Centre acquired a 30 acre (12 ha) land located in the foreshore area of Hessarghatta lake from the Government of Karnataka. A laboratory building and fish farm and hatchery complex have come up at the site and the Centre started functioning from May 1997 at the new campus. The present 30 acre campus of CIFA at Hesaraghatta  in the outskirts of Bengaluru, is a sterling example of co-operation between Central and State government and was leased from the State government in 1989, for 30 years to the Institute for the construction of a Fish Farm and Laboratory Complex and infrastructural facilities were slowly built up over the years.


Dr. Hemaprasanth

Principal Scientist

& Scientist-in-charge


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Dr. Gangadhar Barlaya

Principal Scientist


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Dr. Ananda Kumar B.S



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Dr. Vinay T N


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Mr. Raghavendra C.H.

Senior Technical Assistant


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Mr. Siddaraju

Skilled Supporting Staff


  1. Basic and strategic research for the development of sustainable culture systems for freshwater finfish in the peninsular region
  2. Species and system diversification in peninsular aquaculture
  3. Training, extension and support programmes to aquaculture in the region

Focal Research Areas

  • Developing technologies for breeding , seed production and culture of peninsular carps
  • Facilitation for aquaculture of H. Pulchellus, P. carnaticus, P. kolus and L. kontius of peninsular region to augment the culture basket of aquaculture systems
  • Stock enhancement of the ‘critically endangered’ H. Pulchellus and ‘endangered’ P. kolus in the peninsular river systems.
  • Optimum and nutrient efficient fertilization strategy for sustained plankton production in aquaculture systems.
  • Achieving successful and efficient carp breeding in areas with high alkaline water and also for water deficient regions.
  • Development of control strategies against important pathogens of peninsular carps under culture

Ongoing and completed project details

Institute funded

# Name of the project Duration
Aquaculture of peninsular medium carps and ornamental fishes 3 years (1.4.2010-31.3.2013)
Applied nutrition in freshwater aquaculture, Sub project: Evaluation of carbohydrate availability from  conventional and non-conventional sources in medium carps 3 years (1.4.2010-31.3.2013)
Brood stock development, breeding and larval rearing of Puntius carnaticus, and P. pulchellus 4 years (1.4.2013-31.3.2017)
Macronutrients requirement of the peninsular carp P. carnaticus fingerlings 3 years (1.4.2013– 31.03.2016)
Value added products from medium and small indigenous fish species 4 years (1.4.2013-31.3.2017)
Studies on Argulus infection pattern in peninsular carps subsequent up on their introduction to culture systems with an aim on development of prophylactic and control measures 4 years (1.4.2013-31.3.2017)
Broodstock development and seed production of cultivable peninsular carps 3 years (1.4.2017- 31.3.2020)
Diseases of peninsular carps upon introduction to culture systems 3 years (1.4.2017-31.3.2020)
Plankton productivity in relation to season and nutrient interaction in peninsular aquaculture systems 3 years (1.4.2017-31.3.2020)
Species diversification in peninsular aquaculture: Strategies for mass seed production of peninsular carps and their successful introduction to aquaculture systems 3 years (1.4.2020-31.3.2023)
Exploring potential probiotic gut bacteria from peninsular carp species and their application in improving fish health and growth 3 years (1.4.2020-31.3.2023)

Externally Funded Projects

# Name of the project Duration
Periphyton enhancement – a sustainable technology for efficient nutrient utilization in seed rearing and grow-out culture of carps with special reference to the peninsular carp Labeo fimbriatus 3 ½ years (19.09.2012– 31.03.2016)
Production of plant sourced mannan oligosaccharides for improving the productivity of freshwater aquaculture     3 years (14.12.2015 to 13.12.2018)
Quality seed production of important cultivable fish species 3 years (01.04/.2017– 31.03.2020)

Future thrust areas of research

  • New and novel fish species in to aquaculture basket from peninsular region, and their culture, breeding, nutrition and disease aspects and conservation of the endangered/threatened species
  • Increasing overall survival through the production cycle, particularly for larval phases
  • Sustainable therapeutics- with emphasis on efforts to find solutions to development of resistance to therapeutic agents. Modification of doses and schedule of administration or avoiding repeated use of same substance and alternating chemicals
  • Improved understanding of the epidemiology of emerging pathogens and molecular diagnosis
  • Research devoted to more effective and easily administered vaccinations and cost-effective mechanisms to deliver vaccines, especially boosters in commercial production.
  • Functional feeds, bioactive substances (targeting specific disease and health issues) and feeding strategies including diet design
  • Evaluation of supplements, probiotics, and prebiotics to enhance immune resistance and to increase overall resistance under intensive culture

Technologies/Products developed/Commercialized

  1. Breeding and seed rearing technology of the ‘Endangered’ peninsular carp Hypselobarbus pulchellus
  2. Induced breeding technology for ‘endangered‘ peninsular carp, Puntius kolus.
  3. Breeding and seed rearing technology of the threatened carp Puntius carnaticus,
  4. Repeat breeding of Labeo fimbriatus.
  5. Labeo fimbriatusas a diversified carp species for aquaculture.
  6. On farm Pellet feed production technology using locally available feed ingredients
  7. Periphyton technology for seed rearing and grow out culture of Labeo fimbriatus
  8. Utilization of unconventional feed ingredients like azolla, guar meal and green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) larvae in the diet of cultivable carps.
  9. Set of control measures for the anchor worm (Lernaea)
  10. ‘Fish crackers’ preparation from small and medium sized fish and Quality improvement of dried small indigenous freshwater fishes (SIFFS).

Training programmes conducted

  1. Induced breeding and seed production of carps
  2. Grow-out culture of carps

Significant Achievements in last five years

  • The peninsular carp Puntius kolus also called Hypselobarbus kolus endemic to Western Ghats and recorded from the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra classified as Endangered has been successfully induced bred for the first time in 2019.
  • Puntius pulchellus also known as Hypselobarbus pulchellus classified as critically endangered (Possibly extinct) according to IUCN red list has been successfully induced bred for the first time. The Centre has been successful in its collection from the wild in juvenile stage, followed by their adaptation to culture conditions and elucidation of their growth pattern culminating in their sexual maturity and seasonal sexual dimorphism in males, finally resulting in their induced breeding. A re-circulatory hatchery system for hatching of eggs of pulchellus was fabricated, tested and successfully made operational
  • Polyculture of pulchellus with either Catla or Rohu at 20 and 30% substitution showed that all the three species performed better under polyculture than under monoculture.
  • Transferred brood stock/fingerlings pulchellus and carnaticus to Kerala and Karnataka State Fisheries Farms for its multiplication & to act as nucleus for propagation.
  • With a view of conserving this endangered species, river ranched pulchellus to Tunga River, its natural habitat
  • Puntius carnaticus, another peninsular carp endemic to the Western Ghats region was collected from wild and matured to brood stock under pond culture. This captive brood stock was induced bred successfully through a procedure of stripping and dry fertilization. This is expected to help both in conservation of this threatened species and its addition to the culture basket. Dietary incorporation of Mannans extracted from guar seeds in carnaticus feed improved its weight gain, food conversion and carcass protein content.
  • Breeding and larval rearing of Dawkinsia tambraparniei (Silas 1954), an endemic ornamental fish from the Western Ghats of India including the growth evaluation of the fish from spawn to fry was carried out at the Centre
  • Repeat breeding of Labeo fimbriatus in a single season and popularization of this peninsular carp in tanks and reservoirs of Karnataka. Incorporating azolla in diets of fimbriatus and mrigal up to 40% during fry to fingerling rearing resulted in a cost saving of 24.48%. Labeo fimbriatus could efficiently utilize periphyton as a food in spawn to fry; fry to fingerling and in grow out culture resulting in saving on the cost of supplementary feed.
  • Ground water ameliorated with harvested rainwater was successfully used for breeding of carps under re-circulatory mode in a FRP hatchery. The spawn production and survival of IMC and Labeo fimbriatus increased considerably by using this technique, additionally saving enormous quantity of water. This methodology will be of great help for fish breeding in areas with high alkaline water and also for water deficient regions
  • The process of fish soup powder manufacture was improved by co-drying starch substrate with cooked fish meat of freshwater fish, cutting short the regular drying process by more than ten hours. The process was also made healthier by eliminating the frying step of spices and condiments thereby reducing fat content of product that also reduced rancidity problems during storage.
  • A simple process for making fish crackers from medium carps and Fish chutney powder from dried Small Indigenous Freshwater Fishes (SIFFS) was developed at the Centre
  • A retail market ready to cook steak, with a shelf life of more than 2 weeks under refrigeration was successfully prepared from the major carp rohu.
  • A simple process was designed to reduce sand and silica contamination in small indigenous freshwater fishes that are dried on ground and achieved greater than 50% reduction
  • Development of a low-cost vertical discharge pelletizer with 15kg/hr capacity for fish feed preparation
  • Most important infections in peninsular carps of parasitic and bacterial origin identified as Dactylogyrus, Argulus, Lernaea, Aeromonas and Flavobacterium sp. Susceptibility studies revealed rohu as the most preferred host for Dactylogyrus. Infection also occurs in catla, fimbriatus & pulchellus. However P.carnaticus was relatively resistant.
  • Rohu adults and fimbriatus young ones were most susceptible to Argulus, followed by pulchellus. Puntius carnaticus was relatively resistant. Susceptibility of peninsular carps to Argulus under polyculture in the order of least susceptible to most susceptible was Carnatiucs, Pulchellus, Mahseer and Fimbriatus.
  • For Lernaea, the most preferred host was catla, both adults and young ones, followed by pulchellus and young ones of fimbriatus and silver carp. Rohu, mrigal and common carp were relatively resistant and calbasu the most resistant to Lernaea infection
  • Established the efficacy of Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) and avermectins in preventing Argulus infection in peninsular carps
  • Treatment schedule for Ivermectin resistant Argulus infection in carps using alternative avermectins - by administration of two oral doses of either Abamectin or Moxidectin @ 200 microgram/kg bwt on days 1 and 3 to affected fish established
  • Oral administration of Ivermectin, Doramectin, Abamectin and Moxidectin at their recommended doses effective in controlling adult parasites and not the developmental stages of Dactylogyrus in carps. However, another avermectin, Emamectin benzoate was not effective in controlling Dactylogyrus infection.
  • Isopod infestation in IMC in tanks under extensive aquaculture was controlled by oral administration of Ivermectin for 7 days. The prevalence of isopod infestation in carps was - Cyprinus carpio (66%)>Oreochromis mossambicus (63%)>Catla catla (60%)>Labeo rohita(20%). Life cycle of this isopod established under laboratory conditions
  • Metacercaria of Centrocestus formosanus detected in P. kolus and methodology standardized to release and extracts the encysted metacercaria of Centrocestus formosanus from fish gill using trypsin digestion technique. This parasite is of zoonotic importance as human infections have been reported earlier
  • In-vitro studies established the efficacy of solvent extracts of Pongamia pinnata and Azadirachta indica against Aeromonas hydrophila.
  • Flavobacterium colonies isolated from pulchellus were confirmed as Flavobacterium columnare by PCR with F. columnare specific 16s DNA (UPF & UPR) and species specific primers. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S DNA sequence (Maximum likelihood method) revealed that the isolated strain of Flavobacterium columnare has more similarity with strain isolated from Catla, at Luckow, India and from Common carp, at Georgia, USA.
  • Periphyton from sugarcane bagasse as substrate can replace supplementary feeding in spawn to fry and fry to fingerling rearing of L. fimbriatus, Stocking density can be doubled during fry to fingerling rearing in substrate installed ponds, without affecting the growth and survival.
  • Inclusion of guar sourced mannan in fish diet has immune stimulatory effect on innate immune system & serum immunoglobulins and the ideal concentration is found to be 0.5%.

Facilities (lab/ farm)

The Centre currently has facilities for Aquaculture, Nutrition, Physiology and Fish Health Management research. A wet laboratory and hatchery complex with six numbers of 01 ha earthen ponds, many smaller ones of 0.01ha dimension and cement tanks located in the fish farm complex of 18 acres land forms the backbone of all aquaculture studies at this centre.

Farm facility and Hatchery complex at RRC, Bengaluru


Contact person with phone no and E-mail:

Dr. Hemaprasanth
Scientist In charge
Tel: 080-29569562
Email: cifabangalore[at]gmail[dot]com