food or larvae at this stage.
A. testudineus is omnivorous but shows definite preference for insects. The scope of its natural food, however, is very wide. It can vary from a diet of filamentous algae to purely carnivorous. Pandey (1987) mentions that the alimentary canal structure indicates the fish has a tendency towards carnivorous and predatory habits. This fish feeds within the water column as well as on the bottom and has a short and slightly coiled intestine (Mookerjee and Majumdar, 1946).
A. testudineus can be cultured in monoculture, or in polyculture systems with Clarias batrachus or Heteropneustes fossilis or both. It can also be grown in composite fish culture ponds together with carps. Since the fish has a tendency to ³walk out² of ponds, dykes should be sufficiently steep (75 degrees or more) to prevent escape of the fish.
Besra, S., 1997. Growth and bioenergetics of Anabas testudineus (Bloch): An air-breathing climbing perch of south-east Asia. Narendra Publishing House, Delhi, India, 139 pp.
Mookerjee, H.K. and S.R. Majumdar, 1946. On the life history, breeding and rearing of Anabas testudineus (Bloch). J. Dep. Sci. Cal. Univ., 2: 101140.
Pandey, A., 1987. Some aspects of ecophysiology of Anabas testudineus (Bloch). Ph.D. thesis, Bhagalpur. University, Bhagalpur, India.
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make this outlet even less feasible. In addition to preferences for larger fillets, processing costs are higher to fillet smaller fish.
Tilapia growers, especially small-scale producers, will likely benefit from development of markets for whole-dressed tilapia products that can be produced more cheaply and moved at higher volumes. However, this will only be possible if consumer fears related to product source can be alleviated. Tilapia farmers could perhaps take advantage of the negative perceptions of wild-caught tilapia by differentiating their farm-raised product from the wild-caught fish associated with contamination fears and off-flavor. Radio and other advertising programs could be used for farm-raised tilapia to compete effectively with native Nicaraguan species in the whole-dressed form.
Issues related to quality of fish and seafood need to be addressed on a broad-scale in Nicaragua. Buyers and consumers alike appear not to have a clear idea of how to handle fish properly. The government could conduct broad-based consumer education programs that emphasize the quality of farm-raised tilapia. Manuals and other printed materials with guidance on proper fish handling as well as educational meetings would be of great benefit.
Surveyed restaurants and supermarkets indicated that they would be very likely to offer farm-raised tilapia if negative
perceptions about off-flavor and fear of contamination of wild-caught tilapia were changed. Tilapia farmers and processors in Nicaragua will need to guarantee and ensure the flavor, quality, and safety of their product and promote these attributes to gain market share.
Gutierrez, M.A., 2001. Niveles de concentración de mercurio total en tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) de los sitios de pesca de las comunidades pesqueras del lago Xolotlán. Mimeo. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, Managua, Nicaragua.
Neira, I., 2002. Analysis of the Potential Market for Farm-Raised Tilapia in Nicaragua. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Neira, I., C. Engle, and K. Quagrainie, 2003. Potential restaurant markets for farm-raised tilapia in Nicaragua. Aquaculture Economics and Management, 7(3/4): 231-247.
included farmers, extension agents, Kenyan and US CRSP personnel, and students working on research projects in both phases. These were held to discuss and select management schemes for testing, to agree on how the trials would be conducted, and to plan for proper record keeping during the trial period. Ponds for the trials were stocked, and sampling was conducted on a monthly basis. Post-trial workshops were held to evaluate the results of these trials.
Fifty-two ponds were stocked in Central
Fisherman fishing for wild tilapia in Lake Nicaragua, the second largest of the country's natural lakes.
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Farming in Kenya
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and Eastern provinces, while 28 ponds were stocked in Western and Rift Valley provinces. Both stockings were done with monosex male tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), mixed-sex tilapia, and/or catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Stocking densities were 2 fish per m2 for tilapia, 2 fish per 10 m2 for catfish stocked with tilapia, and 1 fish per m2 for catfish stocked alone. Management schemes tested included high, medium, and low management levels. Ponds were sampled for fish growth at four to sixweek intervals, and farmers kept records of input type and weight, input costs, pond water additions, fish mortality,
and fish sampling data. The trials lasted from 7 to 11 months.
As a result of their participation in these trials, farmers learned that improved management could indeed lead to increased production, something of which they were not convinced prior to the trials. The average increase in fish harvested in Central and Eastern provinces during these trials was 330 percent (3.5 t ha-1, as compared with an estimate of just over 1 t ha-1 prior to the trials). Almost two-thirds of the ponds reported net revenues exceeding KSh 250,000 ha-1 yr-1; the average being KSh