Dr. Paciente Cordero

A new high production technology for Tilapia culture is being introduced to increase harvest. The technology, being pilot-tested is called Aquashading. The technology was developed by the fishery researchers of Central Luzon State University (CLSU) aimed “to raise the country’s tilapia production.

However, it will be the technical staff of the Aquaculture Research and Development Division (ARDD) of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) who will pilot-test the technology – taking note of the technical performance of aquashading technology with or without shading Type I and Type III agro-climatic conditions or those that have dry and wet seasons.

As perceived by the CLSU researchers, aquashading technology aims to increase tilapia seed production (fingerlings) and ensure income among tilapia hatchery and grow-out operators. The “technology reduces water temperature to make it favorable for breeding and increasing the seed production of tilapia in in the ponds.” The reduction of water temperature during the hottest hours of the day can significantly increase the spawning rate and seed production.

Two-proposed on-station verification studies are: for Type I located at NFRDI’S Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (FFRDC) in Butong, Taal, Batangas, and the Type III located in the Brackishwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (BFRDC), in Lala, Lanao del Norte. There are two more proposed sites in Samar and Pangasinan.

A modified Corona Classification of Climate and according to NFRDI there are four climate types in the Philippines, thus:

1) Type I is dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year;
2) Type II has no dry season with a very pronounced maximum rain period from December to February;
3) Type III has no very pronounced maximum rain period with a short dry season from 1 to three months; and,
4) Type IV has rainfall that is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year.
The CLSU technologists suggest the use of greenhouse nets installed over the pond to provide shade to the cultured tilapia. The shade provided by the net reduces the water temperature by 3-4 degrees Celcius that contributes the fish’s chance of reproducing more fish by 100 percent in pond- based and hapa-based systems.
Early tilapia aquaculturists who “. . .adopted the aquashading technology gained an estimated 14 percent return of investment (R0I) and an estimated payback period of fewer than two years”

Being product of research and development, aquashading should be encouraged among businessmen engaged in tilapia aquaculture, in terms of ROI. The NFRDI should transfer the said technology to help food security problem of the country. And that more pilot cum verification sites should be explored, especially in the Visayas – there is dire need to improve the lot among fisherfolks and aquaculturist sector, particularly in Eastern Visayas.
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