CONSIDERING MILKFISH AQUACULTURE AS SUSTAINABLE SOURCE OF TUNA FEED
One of the main concerns in Tuna mariculture in general is the constant need of wild sardines that is used to feed the fish to grow them to market size. In an effort to reduce immediately the pressure on the Sardine wildstock , Oceanic aquaculture is targeting different alternative feeds, including a by-product of shrimps:
There is a good supply of shrimps due to the number of shrimp vessels operating in the site’s area . These boats are often getting rid of the shrimp’s heads, throwing them back at sea. Capitalizing on this opportunity, we are using the shrimp heads to feed our Tuna.
The head of the shrimp contains “astaxanthin”a natural antioxydant responsible of the red pigmentation in animals and plants. The sweetness of the shrimp also enhances the flesh of the tuna, giving it a unique sweet flavor.
On a longer term, Oceanic Aquaculture is aiming a wildstock free bait capture, by introducing Milkfish (chanos chanos) aquaculture on the company’s site. Milkfish aquaculture involved the capture of a dozen “broodstock’ helds in a land based tank, to produce eggs, that are further hatched to produce fingerlings size fish to serve as feed to the Yellowfin tuna. Several Milkfish aquaculture sites are now booming in southeast Asia and some sites has been implented for the purpose of producing live baits for the Tuna pole and line industry. With a relatively easy and low production cost, Milkfish culture could eliminate the need of Sardines, and create, along with the shrimp heads, a fully sustainable source of feed to our fish. Milkfish are found on the Pacific coast of Baja Sur and the sea of Cortes.
“The fish reach an average weight of 60 grams in 60 days, a size that can be used for pole and line baits for tuna fishing.”
To read the full article on Milkfish production for tuna baits, click here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/ac893e/ac893e03.htm