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Sustainable Aquaculture
for a Secure Future
CLSU/FAC + PD/A CRSP = Formula for Success
by Chris Brown
University of Hawaii, US Regional Coordinator for PD/A CRSP Philippines Project
The PD/A CRSP has been active in the Philippines since the program’s inception in 1982. Until 1998, the Philippines was a companion site to the prime Southeast Asia site in Thailand. Research was conducted from 1983 to 1987 at the Brackishwater Aquaculture Center in Iloilo as a collaborative project between the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and the University of Hawaii. In 1992, CRSP research recommenced at the Freshwater Aquaculture Center (FAC) at Central Luzon State University (CLSU). The Philippines became a PD/A CRSP prime site in July 1998 when the Philippines project was awarded funding beginning with the Ninth Work Plan. The lead host country institution is CLSU/FAC, located in Nueva Ecija, Philippines.
C ontinuing programs with
USAID and the Pond
Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP have been a crucial part of the Freshwater Aquaculture Center’s (FAC) scientific emergence. A few years back, economic growth in Thailand led USAID to rethink the placement of some of its regionally focused activities, and the consistency of programs at Central Luzon State University (CLSU) helped to make a strong case for its selection as a prime site for Southeast Asian aquaculture technology development and dissemination. PD/A CRSP Host Country Principal Investigator Remedios Bolivar is currently serving as Chairperson of the Department of Aquaculture at CLSU, as well as Associate Director of the FAC.

The first year of experimental field studies has recently been concluded. The results of these experiments are presently being drafted into manuscript form, but participating farmers have already adopted some of the practices being tested. Among conclu-sions supported by this work is the concept explored by CRSP researcher James Diana and coworkers at the Asian Institute of

Technology that delayed feeding protocols can effectively reduce production costs without significantly compromising yields. The results of our experimentation demonstrated that waiting two months before feeding ponds freshly stocked with fingerling tilapia netted the farmers approximately $400 extra per hectare. Most of the farmers involved in these trials indicated at a December 1999 workshop that they are sufficiently impressed with this strategy that they have already implemented the delayed feeding protocol. The mix of reduced effort and increased profit has a kind of universal appeal. We have planned a series of follow-up experiments, and US associate investigator Robert Howerton has turned his keenly trained eye to the production of extension materials.

The pooling of ideas and resources from the various ongoing scientific activities at CLSU is a high priority for the Philippines CRSP participants. For example, the feed in the trials mentioned above uses inexpensive rice by-products and fishmeal and has been formulated under the guidance of University of Arizona colleague Kevin Fitzsimmons.

Another integrative aspect of our experimentation is the use of a genetically selected, sex-reversed strain of tilapia developed by ICLARM. These fish are now being distributed through the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) Foundation, which, not coincidentally, is next door to the FACs experimental pond facility. Fish from this strain were made available to the CRSP project through a cooperative .
Inside Aquanews…

Aquaculture at CLSU/FAC
Student Profile: Oscar Zelaya
News from the Pond
Hawaii’s Aquaculture Heritage
New Spanish-Language Publication
PD/A CRSP Website Update
Technical Committee Election Results