Summary


Cirrhinus mrigala is – besides Labeo catla and L. rohita – one of the three Indian major carps cultivated widely in Southeast Asian countries. This species can be found in fresh waters of northern India, Bangladesh, Burma, and Pakistan and has been introduced into waters of other parts of India and adjacent countries – including China – and to parts of Asia as well as Europe. Despite that, there is limited information about this species in natural conditions, especially about substrate and aggregation needs. C. mrigala is often raised in polyculture systems with other carps, and structures such as bamboo poles can be used as periphyton substrate in these systems, reducing competition for food between carps with different feeding habits. This species has a narrow range in food variety. As a bottom feeder, complete harvesting of C. mrigala is possible only through draining, and such difficulty makes this species the least preferred one among the three Indian major carps for farmers. Moreover, its entire life cycle is closed in captivity, but apparently it is still necessary to induce the reproduction by hormonal manipulation. Information about adults under farming conditions is scarce, probably because this species is sold before reaching maturity. C. mrigala is mostly sold fresh in local markets, but it is a common practice that fishes are harvested, packed with crushed ice at a ratio of 1:1 in rectangular plastic crates, and transported – sometimes for long distances – to be sold as fresh as possible. Thus, post-harvest processing of this species is almost non-existent. Further research is needed on the stunning and slaughter process, besides the stress response of this species.