Utility of Food Fishes for the Control of Mosquito Vectors of Malayan Filariasis in Shertallai, Kerala


Abstract

Composite fish culture involving fast growing edible varieties of Carps such as Catla catla, Cyprinus carpio, Labeo rohita, Labeo fimbriatus, Cirrbina mrigala and Ctenopharyngodon idella was demonstrated in the domestic ponds of Shertallai Taluk in Kerala, as a part of integrated approach in the control of Mansonia mosquitoes, the vector of Brugia malayi, Fish fingerlings were introduced at the rate of 50/100m2 after the initial removal of weeds such as Pistia stratiotes, Salvinia molesta and Eichhornia crassipes which are the major host plants of vector mosquitoes. The effect of polyculture with or without grass carp (C. idella) on weed reinfestation and vector breeding was compared with monoculture involving weedivorous fishes viz., C. idella and Osphronemoas gorami. The proportion of fish culture ponds with weed reinfestation was significantly lower than that of the ponds without fish culture. Vector breeding was significantly brought down from the pre-release level of 80.6% to 28.2% in ponds under polyculture including grass carp. C. idella recorded the highest growth rate of 1087 ± 503 grams, while L. rohita recorded a maximum survival of 36.9% at the end of one year. The utility of fish culture in vector control and economic gains accruing to the society through this programme are discussed.

Keywords

Food Fishes, Hydrophytes, Mansonioides, Breeding, Brugia malayi, Control.

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