Fish and fishery products represent a very valuable source of protein and essential micronutrients for balanced nutrition and good health.
Fisheries and aquaculture are important sources of food, feeding, income and livelihood for hundreds of millions people around in the globe. Production from capture fishery is relatively static since the late 1980s, while aquaculture has been responsible for the impressive growth in the supply of fish for human consumption (FAO, 2016). In 2014 World per capita fish supply reached a new record high of 20 kg due to remarkable growth in aquaculture, that provides half of all fish for human consumption, and also because of steady improvement in the state of certain wild fish stocks due to improved fisheries management fish continues to be one of the most-traded food items globally with more than half of fish produced by value originating in less developed countries (FAO, 2016). Aquaculture is a very efficient system for conversion of low grade raw materials into high grade protein via poikilotherms, accordingly study of biology, nutrition, physiology, biochemistry, breeding and culture practices in fishes are of fundamental importance both for economics and ecology as well. Aquaculture development has exceeded population growth, resulting in increased per capita.
aquaculture production in the last three decades in many regions; Asia as a whole has gone far ahead of other continents in increasing per capita farmed fish production for human consumption, but huge differences exist among different geographic regions within Asia (FAO, 2016). In India fish farming has evolved as a viable commercial farming practice from the level of traditionally backyard activity over last three decades with considerable diversification in terms of species and systems, and has been showing annual growth rate of 6-7 percent. The sector has also shown considerable diversification in recent years with the adoption of other species such as catfishes and freshwater prawns, due to their higher market demand and economic values. Induced breeding of Carps and Catfishes are some of the epoch-making technologies actually guided by the freshwater aquaculture development. Among the catfishes, Philippine Catfish; Magur Clarias batrachus is the only species that has received a lot of attention. The walking catfish C batrachus is a species of freshwater air breathing catfish native to Southeast Asia region. It is named for its ability to move across dry land, to find food or suitable environments.
The fish has the ability to use its pectoral fins to keep it upright as it makes a wiggling motion with snakelike movements. This fish normally lives in slow-moving or often stagnant waters in streams, ponds, swamps and rivers. It can dwell in flooded rice paddies or temporary pools which may dry up. During dry season the walking skill allows the fish to move to other place or sources of water (Froese and Pauly, 2011). Naturally, C.
batrachus spawns once a year during period of July-August and there is the non-availability of quality seeds from the natural resources due to environmental degradation viz. industrialization and urbanization, also improper use of pesticides, disturbance of natural breeding ground due to siltation and over exploitation of juveniles and brood fishes (Sahu et al., 2000). The pond culture of catfish mainly C. batrachus is currently propagated on a large scale along the North-eastern regions, mainly in the State of Assam (FAO, 2015). Intensive culture of C batrachus in several Indian states as in rural Bengal and Tripura have much potential towards livelihood development, employment generation and ensuring nutritional enrichment in the regular diet among of the people. Successful aquaculture of this species may bring about socio-economic sustainability of the rural people. Intensive C.
batrachus culture will gain popularity mainly because the species require no special treatment during grow out period with respect to the conditioning and the growth factors unlike many other aquaculture species. Medicinal plants are rich in a wide variety of nutrients and can be administered as a whole plant or parts e.g. leaf, root. bark, pods, and seed. It is also can be used as extract compounds, using water routine or feed additives, either singly or as a combination of extract compounds, or even as a mixture with or other compounds (Chang, 2000). The use of plant compounds or substances for nutritional and pharmaceutical purposes has gradually increased all over the world. According to World Health Organization, medicinal plants are going to be the best source to obtain a variety of nutraceuticals and drugs (Santos et al.
, 1995). Herbal or plant extracts contain various numbers of bio constitutes such as alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, phenolics, terpenoids, saponins, steroids or essential oils and, tannins, that improve fish and shrimp growth, immune system and general health conditions, meanwhile their uses could reduce costs of treatment and it is environmentally friendly therapeutics (Citarasu, 2010). Plant extracts act as appetite stimulators, anti-stressors, growth promotors, and immunomodulatory factors, and anti – pathogen agents in many aquaculture practices such as fish and shrimp farming, more over the phytochemicals or secondary metabolites present in herbs may enhance the innate immune responses and possess antimicrobial properties that may have vast uses in fish culture without causing any hazards or problems to the environment (Chakraborty and Hancz, 2011).