Fishing Technology



The division has substantially contributed in the growth and development of fish harvest technology in the country. Besides the development and modernisation of fishing systems, the divisions work also focuses on development of alternative fuels, new material for craft and gear fabrication, bycatch mitigation, energy optimization of fishing systems, materials protection and pollution in coastal aquaculture environment. In addition, the division disseminate proven technologies and expertise through publications, training, consultancies etc. The Division’s activities are geared to promote the use and development of fishing gear and practices in accordance with the guidelines in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

Major Area of Research 

  • Responsible fish harvestings systems
  • Energy efficient fishing systems
  • Impact of fishing on environment  
  • Protection  of fishing materials 
  • Fish behavior in relation with fishing systems 
  • Development of boat designs for costal and deep sea fishing
  • Sustainability of the fishery resources
  • Protection of biodiversity
  • Fishery legislation
  • By-catch and discards and protection of endangered species

Major research findings

  • Development of V-form double slotted otter boards for trawl fishery.  Extensive trials using the newly developed otter boards showed that 7 million litters of diesel can be saved and 19 million kg of CO2 emission can be reduced annually if 50% of the trawlers in India adopt CIFT-V-form double slotted otter boards
  • CIFT-TED has been fine-tuned as per international standards and evaluation dive of the prototype was successfully conducted at NOAA, USA.  
  • Guidelines/advisories prepared for small-scale ring seine fishery for sustainable harvest of pelagic resources and communicated to different state govt. for effective implementation.
  • Developed a UV –absorbing cotton cloth for outdoor application by incorporating nano carbon dot, which is stable even after 30 water washes.
  • Carbon nano dot derived from prawn shell incorporated in Bisphenol epoxy polymer exhibited excellent corrosion inhibition on boat building steel and Carbon nano dot coating over polyamide netting material exhibited excellent fluorescence. Which can be used as tool to retrieve lost nets under the sea
  •  Among different copper-based biocides, Chromated Copper Boron (8%) treated coconut wood showed the maximum static bending strength (MoR) whereas 0.02% nano copper oxide along with polyaniline treated wood showed the minimum leaching of copper during the in-situ leaching experiment (AWPA E11)
  • It is estimated that fuel consumption of inboard diesel engine (10.5hp) is approximately 1/3 of that off an OBM of similar horse power.
  • Standard designs of mechanized fishing crafts: Twelve standard designs of wooden fishing boats in the size range of 7.67 to 15.24 m were developed and introduced which gave a major fillip to the mechanization programme of Indian fisheries. 
  • Aluminium alloy sheathing for wooden fishing vessels: Aluminium-magnesium alloy sheathing was developed as a cost effective substitute for copper sheathing for wooden hulls as protection against marine borers. 
  • Cathodic protection Mercury-free ternary aluminium anodes were developed for cathodic protection of steel fishing vessels against marine corrosion. 
  • New substitutes for propeller material pheroidal graphite cast iron with nickel (21-24 %) material as substitute for conventional manganese-bronze for propellers of fishing boats, resulting in cost savings of 25-30%. 
  • Marine anti-corrosive paints Cheaper anticorrosive paints were developed incorporating cashew nut shell liquid resin and zinc chromate. 
  • Marine antifouling paint Superior cost-effective antifouling paint formulations incorporating cuprous oxide and modified indigenous resins were developed for protection against fouling, in fishing boats. 
  • Chemical wood preservatives: Chemical wood preservatives such as arsenic creosote, copper creosote and creoscor were developed for protection of traditional crafts against bio-deterioration. 
  • Indigenous resin based protective coatings for wooden crafts: Protective coatings based on indigenously produced natural resins such as Andaman damar (Canarium euphyllum), black damar (Canarium strictum), rock damar (Hopea robusta), white damar (Vateria indica) as substitute for imported damar battu (family: Dipterocarpaceae) extensively used for protection of traditional wooden crafts in Maharashtra and Gujarat. 
  • Ferrocement for boat building: Economic feasibility of ferrocement as substitute material for steel and wood for construction of fishing boats of 12-17 m length class. 
  • Rubber wood canoes: The rubber wood, which comes as a waste from rubber plantations, can be efficiently utilized after upgrading by chemical preservative treatment. The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin has successfully used treated rubber wood as alternative material for construction of traditional fishing craft. Treated rubber wood canoe can be further protected using fibre glass reinforced plastic (FRP) sheathing 
  • Cost effective wooden canoes with FRP sheathing for NEH region
  • Netting, netting yarn and netting twine for fishing gear fabrication
  • Standardization of netting, netting yarn, netting twine, floats and hooks for fishing
  • Combination wire rope: Standardization of combination wire rope for deep sea trawl gear leading to import substitution through indigenous manufacture. 
  • Improved lobster trap: Improved and durable lobster traps in substitute for traditional traps of short life span and low efficiency for harvesting of spiny lobster. Design: 700 x 550 x 400 mm size. It has a mild steel rod frame mounted with 25 mm square welded mesh, plastic coated for corrosion protection 
  • Pots, gill nets and lift net for crabs: Crab pots, gill nets and crab lift net for catching crabs in live and undamaged condition. 
  • Collapsible fish trap: Two different designs of innovative collapsible fish trap with dimensions of 1 m ×0.6 m ×0.6m &1.5 m x 0.8 m for fishing along the backwaters was developed. HDPE webbing of 80mm mesh size rigged with iron bar as frame was used and two funnels measuring 35cm Ø were attached both the sides to allow fish to enter. These traps were supplied to the traditional fishermen and experimental trials were conducted along backwaters of Kerala.The design is simple and 40% lighter in weight when compared to the conventional traps. Durability of the trap is 3-4 times more than the conventional traps.
  • Myctophid trawl : Two new myctophid trawls (45m and 28.4m) with four equal panels were designed 
  • Ring seine: A purse seine for operation from traditional plank built canoes (Thangu vallom) powered by outboard motors, for efficient harvesting of pelagic shoaling fishes. 
  • Large mesh trawl : Relatively large meshes are incorporated in the forepart of trawl resulting in significant reduction in trawl resistance, making use of the herding effect of large meshes on fin fishes. The reduced drag permits greater trawling speed and/or operation of an optimum sized trawl. Designs: 25.0 m, 32.0 m and 40.0 m large mesh trawls 
  • Cut-away top belly shrimp trawl: A shrimp trawl without top belly has been developed and field test at CIFT. Results reveal that considerable reduction in the quantity of bycatch landed. The net was able to cover more area within the stipulated speed and time due to reduced drag.
  • Low drag trawl : An optimized design of trawl coupled with fabrication using new generation material (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyetylene (UHMWPE) twines, which can significantly reduce drag offered by the trawl underwater. By using this net, this net in small-scale mechanized trawls, a reduction in the fuel consumption by 13% and a total savings in operational expenditure by 7.5% can be achieved. 
  • Development of V-form double slotted otter boards for trawl fishery.  Extensive trials using the newly developed otter boards showed that 7 million liters of diesel can be saved and 19 million kg of CO2 emission can be reduced annually if 50% of the trawlers in India adopt CIFT-V-form double slotted otter boards
  • Purse seine: Large mesh Purse seines for catching pelagic shoaling fishes such as sardine and mackerel, from small mechanized vessels. 
  • Long lines: Long line for sharks using indigenous hooks. 
  • Troll lines: Troll lines for predatory fishes such as Spanish mackerel and barracuda, using buffalo horn, stainless steel, spoon and fish head jigs 
  • Gill nets: Marine gill nets optimized for catching sardine, mackerel, Spanish mackerel, pomfret and hilsa, in terms of material and mesh size. Colour- optimized gill nets for hilsa. 
  • Large mesh semi-pelagic trawls: Trawls incorporating large meshes for reducing drag and fuel consumption, for harvesting semi-pelagic resources. Design: 33.7 m. large mesh semi-pelagic trawl,
  • CIFT Semi-pelagic trawl system (CIFT-SPTS) 18 m.: 18 m. CIFT-SPTS with low impact on benthic biota with exchangeable contends for harvesting non-shrimp trawl resources. 
  • Harvesting techniques for Antarctic krill: Acoustic detection and aimed midwater trawling techniques for Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) have been developed, during First Indian Antarctic Krill Expedition (FIKEX) 1995-1996. 
  • Selectivity of fishing gears: Information on fishing gear selectivity is important in biological investigations, fish stock assessment, fisheries management and fishing gear design & development. Selectivity characteristics such as mean selection length, selection range, selection factor and selection curve of square mesh and diamond mesh with respect to demersal catch components have been determined through covered codend experiments. 
  • Square mesh trawl cod end : squaremesh codend is the proven technology which ensure  effective for the escapement of juvenile and sub adult fishes , less trawl drag, Less sorting time due to less quantity of by-catch.
  • Juvenile Fish Excluder cum Shrimp Sorting Device (JFE-SSD): CIFT has developed a unique Juvenile Fish Excluder cum Shrimp Sorting Device (JFE-SSD), whcih traps mature shrimp in the bottom portion of the net while allowing juvenile shrimp to swim out of the mesh net unharmed. The device also retains mature finfish in the upper portion of the net while allowing small fish of low commercial value to safely exit the shrimp trawl. 
  • Turtle Excluder Device: Turtle Excluder Device is a specialized form of BRD designed for saving sea turtles caught incidentally during shrimp trawling. CIFT has developed an efficient indigenous TED design (CIFT-TED) for commercial shrimp trawling which offers 100% protection to sea turtles with minimal catch loss 
  • Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs): The Institute has developed and standardized low-cost designs of floating FADs and benthic Artificial Reef (AF) modules in order to make the fishing operations energy efficient and cost-effective, for the benefit of traditional fishermen operating low impact fishing gears such as gill nets and lines. 

​General facilities 

  • Fuel efficient multi-purpose research vessel FV Sagar Harita 
  • Trawler Matsyakumari II
  • Behavioural laboratory 
  • Gear fabrication facility 
  • Testing of fishing gear material 
  • Universal testing machine 
  • Yarn aberration machine 
  • Corrosion measurement system
  • UV Spectrometer
  • Fluorometer 
  • Atomic force microscope
  • Wood preservation facility 
  • Xenotest 
  • Two research vessels, namely FV. Sagar Harita a 19.75m gillnetter cum longline vessel and a 17.70m stern trawler RV Matsyakumari II are available at CIFT Kochi 


  • V form double slotted otter board were successfully commercialized for bottom trawling. 
  • Designed and commercialised a   22.5m LOA gill netter cum long liner for deep sea fishing under PMMSY 
  • Designed 21.0 m Long liner cum Gillnetter for Department of fisheries, Gujarat under PMMSY scheme and 140 boats were constructed and distributed
  • Design approval of Gillnetter cum Long liner of (1) Lockheed, Sriperumbudur Tamil Nadu (2) SM Engineering Works, Kanyakumari Tamil Nadu (3) Master shipyard, EdaKochi, Kerala (4) Sicagen India Limited, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and  (5) Uma Shipbuilder & Repairs Ltd, Tamil Nadu. Total 61 boats were constructed by these builders for Tamil Nadu.
  • Designed  of 21.0 m Gillnetter cum Long liner for Sadhav Offshore Engineering Company, Mumbai. 
  • Designed and constructed   of 7.62 m Pole and line fishing boat for Lakshadweep island
  • Designed 22.5 m FRP pole and line cum long liner for Lakshadweep islands.
  • Designed of 7.6 m to 13.7 m fishing boats for Andaman and Nicobar islands
  • Project design of 24 m Purse Seiner with fishing gear system
  • Experimental fishing operations using XtraGreen diesel with Indian Oil Corporation Limited onboard research vessel of ICAR-CIFT
  • Experimental fishing operations using LNG+Diesel dual fuel for fishing operations onboard ICAR-CIFT vessel
  • Fully solar powered fishing boat of Length 8.0 m for inland and recreational fishing has been designed and constructed and handed over to MATSYAFED for commercial operations.
  • Designed and constructed 3.0 m FRP Pedal fishing boat and handed to ST Fisheries Society for commercial operations.
  • Design approval of 18.65m and 23m Loa Gillnetter cum Long liner for M/s United Kireeti, Andhra Pradesh
  • Design approval of 11.0 m solar fishing boat and 3.0m Trimaran fishing boat for Navalt Solar and Electric Boats, Cochin.
  • Design approval of 22.5 m FRP Gillnetter cum Long liner by M/s Samudra Shipyard Aroor, Kerala for the fishers of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
  • Performance evaluation of 9.9 h.p Out Board Motors for fishing for J arc Communications Pvt. Ltd, Trivandrum.
  • Type testing of marine engines manufactured by Rocket Engines Pvt.Ltd Rajkot; Sardhara Engines, Rajkot; Kirloskar Oil Engines, Pune;Topland Engines, Rajkot; Shangdong Heavy Industries, Pune, Greaves Cotton, Aurangabad, etc

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