Tag Archives: hatchery

Genetics roadmap to develop more resilient farmed fish

WorldFish will embark on new research to create more resilient fish with characteristics such as disease resistance and more effective feed utilization. Based on a roadmap developed with world experts at a WorldFish-hosted fish breeding workshop on 23–24 May at The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, the research will use advanced techniques such as genomic selection to introduce these characteristics into its improved tilapia strains.

Since 1988, WorldFish has used selective breeding to develop and manage the fast-growing Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain. The strain has been disseminated to at least 16 countries, mostly in the developing world, and is grown by millions of small-scale fish farmers for food, income and nutrition across the globe.

Harvested GIFT Tilapia (Credit: Worldfish)

Harvested GIFT Tilapia (Credit: Worldfish)

Use of genomic selection tools, which enable the selection of animals based on genetic markers, will allow WorldFish to expand its GIFT research beyond a growth-only focus and introduce selection for characteristics that are otherwise difficult to measure, such as resilience and feed efficiency. Genomic selection has enabled a step change in the rate of genetic improvement of terrestrial livestock, and has the potential to do the same in fish.

Expansion of GIFT research is a key part of the CGIAR Research Program on fish (FISH) and supports WorldFish efforts under its sustainable aquaculture program to increase the productivity of small-scale aquaculture to meet growing global demand for fish.

John Benzie, Program Leader, Sustainable Aquaculture, WorldFish: “Incorporating new traits in the breeding program for GIFT will help fish farmers prepare for future challenges such as climate change and increasing evidence of disease risks. This will particularly benefit farmers in Africa and Asia, where tilapia is critical for food security yet farmers often have limited access to improved fish breeds suited to local conditions.”

Ross Houston, Group Leader, The Roslin Institute: “Aquaculture production needs to increase by 40 percent by 2030 to meet global demands for fish. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is arguably the world’s most important food fish, and plays a key role in tackling rural poverty in developing countries. The innovations in genetic improvement mapped out in this workshop are an important step toward achieving these ambitious goals.”

Attendees of the workshop included experts from WorldFish’s Malaysian and Egyptian bases, The Roslin Institute, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, The University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, the Earlham Institute, CIRAD and the Animal Breeding and Genetics group of Wageningen University and Research.

The roadmap will feed into a strategy for the genetic improvement and dissemination of GIFT seed in Africa, the further development of which will take place at the Genetics Network meeting being hosted by WorldFish at the World Aquaculture 2017 conference in Cape Town on 26–30 June.

For more information or to request an interview contact:

Toby Johnson, Head of Communications
Mobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606
Email: t.johnson@cgiar.org
Web: worldfishcenter.org
Photography: flickr.com/photos/theworldfishcenter/

About WorldFish
WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

About CGIAR
CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.

Online aquaculture training videos now available to Egyptian fish farmers

A series of high quality aquaculture training videos, designed to teach Egyptian fish farmers the industry’s best management practices, has recently been released.

Produced by WorldFish, an international nonprofit research organization, the ten short videos are being used to train local fish farmers in the most effective ways to boost the production and quality of farmed fish.

Available in Arabic with English subtitles, the videos cover all aspects of aquaculture from pond preparation and fish health care, to how to transport and handle live fish.

“These videos are good learning tool for fish farmers to show them the industry’s best management practices in a simplified way”, says Dr. Diaa Al-Kenawy, Research Scientist at WorldFish.

“Both the trainers and the farmers found the videos very useful because they explain all fish farming stages from site selection and pond design to harvest and post-harvest treatment”, he adds.

The videos are part of the Improving Employment and Income through the Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project, which aims to strengthen and develop the country’s US$1.5 billion aquaculture industry and generate more employment in the sector.

The IEIDEAS project is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, which aims to increase the productivity of small-scale livestock and fish systems in sustainable ways, making meat, milk and fish more available and affordable to poor consumers across the developing world.

Strengthening the aquaculture industry in Egypt will help to secure the livelihoods of over 100,000 men and women employed in the sector, and ensure an affordable source of animal protein for the millions of poor who depend on fish.

While the videos are targeted at Egyptian fish farmers, they offer industry tips that will benefit pond-based aquaculture producers around the world.

Watch the videos. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_5s5CPGqCKQtv15flpx4UKDltm3JyEIM

About WorldFish

WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.

About CGIAR

CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

For more information or to request an interview please contact:

Diane Shohet, Director, Communications and Marketing, WorldFish

Tel: +6017 474 8606

Email: d.shohet@cgiar.org

Aquaponics Workshop Offered at University of the Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands, Albert A. Sheen Campus
St. Croix, USVI

Program – 3-day course that will provide in-depth knowledge of the principles and practical application of the aquaponic system that has been developed at the University of the Virgin Islands. Participants will be introduced to the system design that maintains water quality by hydroponic plant culture (aquaponics), Fish production instruction will be conducted using both the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and red tilapia. Hydroponic plant production will focus on vegetables, culinary herbs and ornamental flowers.

Instruction – Each day will include a half-day of classroom lecture and a half-day of hands-on field work. Participants will learn the technology through presentation of the theory and practical skill development. Each student will be given a USB Flash Drive of reference materials and course content. Water quality labs will cover the methods of analysis and the use of water quality test kits. Field work will include fish handling, vegetable production and system operation.

Fee – Registration is required.  The course fee is $600.  Your registration will be confirmed by email upon receipt of payment.  The number of participants is limited and early registration is recommended.  The course fee does not include transportation to St. Croix, lodging, meals or local transportation.

Facilities – UVI is located in the heart of beautiful St. Croix. The Aquaculture Program operates fifteen research-scale systems (six aquaponic and nine biofloc) as well as commercial-scale aquaponic and biofloc systems, a fry sex-reversal system, a recirculating system for fingerling rearing and a purge system. The program annually produces about 20,000 lbs. of tilapia and a variety of vegetables.

Topics

Aquaponic system Plant production
   System design and management    Seedling production
   Components    Disease and insect control
   Construction techniques    Harvesting and packaging
Operation Economics
   Water quality    Capital budgeting
   Fish production    Operations plan
   Stocking rates    Marketing
   Feeding, growth and survival Fingerling production
   Harvesting and processing    Brood stock management
   Breeding/Fry sex reversal

Upcoming Workshop Dates:

  • February 27 – March 1, 2013
  • April 3 – 5, 2013
  • May 8 – 10, 2013

For the latest information, see Registration Announcement.

Getting Started with Small Scale Tilapia Farming

Have you ever wanted to grow your own fish?

Do you have a desire to raise your own food for a more self-reliant and healthy lifestyle?

Well then, farming tilapia may be for you.

Tilapia are warmwater, hardy fish that are easy to grow. You don’t have to have a “blue” thumb, but it helps to do some planning before you launch into tilapia farming. You want to set up a growing system that is easy to maintain and that will fit your lifestyle.

Tilapia are good to eat and have mild, white fillets. There are hundreds of tilapia recipes, so that you can create new, healthy meals for your household. Fresh tilapia are in demand, not only for home consumption, but by restaurants and seafood outlets.

Tilapia are often grown along with vegetables in aquaponic systems. The nutrients from tilapia waste can be used by the vegetables (lettuce, kale, tomatos, cucumbers, and other plants) for growth and this helps to purify the water.

Here are 7 steps that will help you start growing tilapia:

1. Take a quick inventory of your personal motives and readiness.

Why do you want to raise tilapia? Determine what your goal is. Are you looking to grow fish to feed your family?

If you grow enough fish, will you barter them with your neighbors for other goods or services? Do you want to sell them at a local farmers market? Do you want to learn tilapia aquafarming on a small scale before venturing into a larger, commercial enterprise?

What resources do you have?

Do you have a source of water available to you. For example a farm pond or stream on your property. Don’t worry if you don’t have a natural water source available. Tilapia are freshwater fish and have been grown successfully in conditioned tap water.

Do you have materials available that you can use as part of your farming efforts. You don’t need a fortune to start growing tilapia, but you must likely will need a modest budget to purchase fish and some other items.

Look at ways to use the resources you have at hand. For example, a plastic child’s swimming pool may be the perfect “tank” to hold your first crop of fish.

Can you learn fish rearing techniques? Tilapia are easy to grow, but it will take some education on your part to learn about how to raise these fish successfully.

If your personal assessment confirms that raising tilapia is for you, then continue on to following steps.

2. Find out about your local regulations.

Before you begin raising tilapia, even for home consumption, you should check with your state authorities to determine if there are any specific regulations on obtaining and possessing tilapia. Each state has its own guidelines.

You may also be able to get assistance on growing tilapia from your state’s aquaculture extension agent.

If you intend to sell the fish you raise, then you will want to organize your business. You can register as either sole-proprietorship, partnership, corporation or LLC.

For business ventures, there may also be a commercial license, operating permit, and other requirements that may be required by the state.

CAUTION: Tilapia are invasive fish and can quickly displace native fish populations if you introduce them into natural water bodies. You must take care to make sure you properly dispose of any live fish or waste water containing eggs or juvenile file.  Any fish that you don’t consume can make ideal compost if added to your home garden.

3. Develop a plan and budget.

Take the time to develop a plan for how you will raise your tilipia. This does not have to be a formal plan or even written down, but you do need to think about the following items:

How will you learn about culturing tilapia? For example, will you purchase a book, contact your state’s extension agent, use online resources, or attend a course on tilapia culture.

What is your budget? The amount of money you have available for your project will have a bearing on whether you purchase materials new or used, or whether you try to improvise using materials you already have.

Do you need to purchase items, such as a tank, biofilter, aerator, nets, feed or other equipment? If so, where will you get them?

How will you maintain your fish? What will you feed them and when? How will you maintain the proper levels of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, pH, and  nitrogen compounds present in water? How will you keep these warmwater fish at the proper temperature? Tilapia are able to withstand a range of environmental conditions, but you do need to try to optimize their growing conditions for best results.

Do you intend to breed fish so that you can avoid having to purchase fry or fingerlings? If so, what type of hatchery system will you use?

What will you do when fish are ready to harvest? Do you intend to use them for your household food or sell them to local markets?

4. Set up your tilapia system.

Tilapia can be grown successfully in a variety of environments, including ponds, cages, raceways, and tanks. Urban farmers have even reported growing them in trash cans.

Growing fish in a pond is perhaps the simplest method. You may even be able to allow the fish to feed on the natural food available in the pond

If you are using a tank or cage, you will need to purchase the materials needed to set up these systems. If you are using tanks, especially where the water is not being recirculated, you may need to condition the water for a few days before introducing your fish.

So set up your culture environment. It is probably best to start small and evolve into a larger system, as your experience grows.

5. Get fish to start your farm.

Now that you have your culture environment ready to go, it is time to introduce fish into your system for growout. Typically, you will purchase tilapia fingerlings (juvenile fish in range of 0.75″ to 2.0″). Find a reputable dealer to purchase your fish from.

After you receive your fingerlings, you may need to acclimatize your fingerlings slowly to the temperature, pH, and general water conditions of the growout environment. Introduce your new crop of fish into the growout environment and begin farming.

Note: You may also purchase fry (fish less than 0.75″), but they require more attention for their growout.

6. Grow your fish to harvestable size.

During the growout phase you need to feed your fish and maintain favorable environmental conditions.

The best growth occurs when water chemistry is maintained within an optimal range. For tilapia, the recommended water chemistry values are as follows:

Temperature: 80-100°F, 85°F is optimal
(Note: tilapia will slow their eating at 75°F, will become weak at 60°F and die at 50°F)
Dissolved Oxygen: 5-7 ppm (parts per million)
PH: 7-7.5
Free Ammonia (not total ammonia): optimal=0, 2ppm will kill, 1ppm will slow growth.
Nitrite: 0.3 mg/l or less
Nitrate: 200-300 ppm
CO2: 20 mg/l or less
Chlorine: 0

Just like growing a traditional vegetable garden requires proper care and maintenance, you will need to watch over your “aquacrop” to promote optimal growth. Under proper growth conditions, tilapia will reach harvestable size in 4-6 months.

In addition to raising your fish for food, you may want to set aside some of your adult fish as breeders to produce fry and fingerlings to “reseed” your fish crop for another harvest. This is truly the way to make your tilapia farm self-sustaining.

7. Harvest your fish.

After the growout phase, your fish are ready for harvesting and you can start to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Find some interesting new tilapia recipes and prepare some healthy, tasty meals for your family to enjoy.

If you intend to sell you fish, then initiate your tilapia marketing and sales program.

To Learn More

Aquaculture: Realities and Potentials When Getting Started

Last Chance Foods: Growing Fish in a Barrel

Raising Tilapia at Home

Fish Farming

Tilapia Fingerlings – Frequently Asked Questions

Pond Culture of Tilapia

Tank Culture of Tilapia

Cage Culture of Tilapia

Aquaculture: Cage Culture

A new type of farming in Indiana is gaining in popularity. This farming uses water rather than water. Aquaculture, or fish farming, is the practice of raising or harvesting fish (or other aquatic life) in a controlled environment.

There are four culture systems where you can raise fish:

  • Ponds
  • Raceways
  • Recycling Systems
  • Cages

Cage culture is a popular form of aquaculture that has many advantages that include resource flexibility, low cost, and simplified harvesting. This article focuses on cage culture.

Before investing any capital in a new business venture, it’s always good practice to do a thorough market analysis and develop a business plan. This will help you determine the size of the market, competition, and capital requirements. Markets are scalable from home consumption, to retail, to wholesale distribution.

Site Selection

After determining aquaculture farming is a viable interest for you to pursue, then the next step is to locate a body of water that will meet the biological and ecological requirements of cage culture. Lakes and quarries are possible sites. Some requirements to consider:

  • Size of body of water – at least 1/2 acre, but preferably an acre of larger
  • Water depth – at least 6 feet deep
  • Water quality – determine pollution sources and surrounding topology
  • Access to electricity – for aeration or other needs
  • Access to site – by boat or vehicle

Species Selection

Consider the marketability of your product and your grow out site. In Indiana, tilapia is a popular fish because of its large size, rapid growth, and hardiness. Hybrid striped bass, catfish, rainbow trout, and largemouth bass are other candidates for cage culture.

Hatcheries / Fingerlings

Once you have selected your species (or species), you need to find a hatchery that can reliably provide high quality fingerlings at a fair price.

For a list of commercial suppliers, see the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources website:

Cages

Cage size determined the number of fingerlings to purchase. You want 5 to 7 fingerlings per cubic foot. Cages come in all size, but the minimum depth should be 4 feet. Cages can be purchased or homemade. Cages range in cost from $150 to $500 per cage. The size of your fingerling will determine the mesh size you need.

Make sure you leave at least 10 feet between cages when you add them to your site. Cages must be in quiet areas (away from swimmers) and easily accessible.

Water Quality

The water for your cage system must contain adequate oxygen to support the fish you are growing. Natural water oxygen can be supplemented with aeration. The dissolved oxygen level and temperature of the site should be monitored closely.

Fish Handling

Fish are shy animals and are easily subject to stress. You need to avoid stressing your fish to optimize their growth. Transport your fingerlings in a well oxygenated container.

Feeding

Fish grown in cages rarely obtain enough natural food and are therefore dependent on feeds supplied by the farmers. Floating feed is the preferred feed type and hand feeding is best. Feeding the fish with the proper amount is key for optimal growth, water quality maintenance, and operational expenses.

Fish Health / Husbandry

Vigilant observation and proper fish handling techniques to reduce stress, help maintain culture conditions. Biofouling is a potential problem that can be prevented by proper maintenance. Diseases may occur from time to time. Evidence of fish disease includes skin discoloration, open wounds and lesion, fin erosions, spots, and
erratic behaviour. Seek a disease diagnosis from an accredited lab and follow the recommended prevention methods.

Harvesting

Fish should be harvested as soon as they reach marketable size. Make sure you minimize stress during harvesting and maintain fish in well aerated transport.

References:

Continue your education by seeking out additional literature and by consulting with extension agents and other aquafarmers