July 31, 2008

 

Indonesia builds on gained expertise in grouper hatcheries

 
 

Having gained from a decade that has seen a boom in the grouper hatchery industry, Indonesia recently hosted a meeting on a project aiming to improve hatchery and grow-out technology for marine finfish aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

The meeting, organised by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Research Institute for Coastal Aquaculture (RICA) Maros, aimed to improve hatchery production technology for high-value marine finfish.

 

This would be accomplished by addressing larval nutrition, digestion and other juvenile fish nutrition issues. The aim of the programme was also to develop cost-effective and low-polluting grow-out diets through investigation of nutrient requirements and commercial testing.

 

The project is one of a inter-connected series funded by ACIAR after it pioneered the backyard grouper hatchery technology in 1998, which became widely adopted in Indonesia.

 

Its popularity can be seen from the fact that in 1999, only five hatcheries in Indonesia produced grouper fingerlings and by 2004 the number had increased to 147.

 

Hatcheries are no longer confined to Bali but have spread across to Lampung, East Java, and new investments in hatchery production are also in development in Riau.

 

Since 1998, the technology has been applied to other grouper species as well as other marine finfish.

 

Increasingly, the technology has also been applied in other countries, in part through the Asia-Pacific Marine Finfish Aquaculture Network grouper hatchery production training course conducted annually in Indonesia since 2002.

 

A total of 101 participants from 22 countries have been trained since the course began.

 

The flexibility of the technology enables the hatchery systems to switch between fish species or between fish and shrimp while the low investment and operating costs enable fishermen to participate in the hatchery business.

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