The cultivable small- to medium-sized bagrid catfish Mystus gulio is an estuarine species, inhabiting brackishwater wetlands, tidal rivers and streams, creeks and confined freshwaters. It is sold as a high-priced food fish in retail markets in cities and towns of southern West Bengal.
M. gulio is a good addition to mixed species culture-based fisheries in canals in the Indian Sundarbans region. It adapts and grows well in freshwater ponds and is recommended for freshwater fish culture in areas of the Sundarbans vulnerable to saline water intrusion.
A cluster of villages located on the eastern side of the Matla River form a 'nucleus' of naturally-occurring M. gulio seeds, exploited every year in good quantity and sold to fish farmers by local seed traders.
This article describes the seed collection, nursery and grow-out practices of M. gulio as practiced in modified-extensive mixed culture systems in West Bengal, India.
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