SPC Aquaculture
Cluster farming helps improve tilapia production in Fiji
Monday, 25 August 2014 15:34

images/stories/2014/140825_tilapiaclusterfarming_fiji.jpgThe Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has been working with the European Union and the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and Forests (MFF) in assisting smallholder tilapia farmers to improve production by working together in cluster groups. 

Experience in Africa and Asia shows that, by working in a cluster, farmers can improve economies of scale and increase their bargaining power for inputs, such as fish feed or hatchery seed supply.  

Over a dozen farmers are part of two cluster groups that have been formed in the Western and Central Divisions of Fiji through the efforts of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) division and the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project, in consultation with relevant government departments and farmers.  

 

These farmers were assisted through technical assessment of their farming methods and production output. Teams from SPC and MFF’s Farm Development Unit made recommendations to farmers about a range of improvements in their operations and equipment, covering aspects such as pond design, farm management practices, post-harvest handling of fish, and proper record keeping. By attending regular cluster meetings, farmers who previously did not know each other have been able to share knowledge, share vital equipment like harvest nets, and coordinate better to regularly supply fish to markets.  
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SPC and Fiji Fisheries organise practical training on microalgae production for mariculture species
Monday, 16 June 2014 15:18

Microalgae are microscopic plants inhabiting the world’s oceans and other aquatic environments. They are the world’s fastest-growing plants: they can double their biomass daily, providing essential nutrition for aquatic animals, including omega-3 oils and other lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. Most marine hatcher­ies grow a variety of microalgae species that serve different needs throughout the production cycle.

Microalgae culture is the most expensive and techni­cally challenging aspect of all hatchery operations. It is estimated that the cost of producing microalgae feed ranges from USD 100 to USD 400 per dry kilogram of microalgae.

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Kiribati participates in international animal disease reporting system
Monday, 16 June 2014 14:51

In the midst of climate change and disaster risk preparedness planning, raising awareness on terrestrial and aquatic animal disease reporting has become an important need for Kiribati. This was highlighted during a five-day workshop attended by government officials from Kiribati’s Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture and its Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource Development.

The training, held in South Tarawa from 23 to 27 September 2013, was also attended by fish farmers and exporters of live aquatic organisms. Kiribati is one of the largest exporters of marine ornamentals among SPC member countries and territories, and this sector could be jeopardised by the current limited knowledge regarding the health status of aquatic animals.

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Is aquaponics viable in the Pacific Islands?
Monday, 16 June 2014 13:52

Aquaponics meeting in the Cook IslandsFish and vegetable production by aquaponics is grabbing more attention these days among SPC member countries and territories in the Pacific Islands. Because there is not yet much of a track record of experience with aquaponics under our own local conditions, it can be difficult for people not familiar with the subject to separate fact from fad and make sound decisions about it. SPC convened a meeting of experts and repre­sentatives of interested Pacific Island countries and territories in October 2013 that aimed to collate experi­ences to date and find out whether aquaponics can indeed move from a nice idea to an actual industry in the insular Pacific. 

But first, what is aquaponics? Here’s the short answer: it’s a polyculture system in which three groups of organisms — fish, vegetables and nitrifying bacteria — are grown in water that is re-circulated in an enclosed tank system. Fish excrete nitrogenous waste (mainly as ammonia), but plants need nitrogenous compounds (mainly nitrate) as their fertiliser. Nitrifying bacteria provide the link between fish and plants, by converting ammonia from the fish into nitrate for the plants. This makes aquaponics a pro-biotic system where “friendly” bacteria are encouraged.

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Learning about biosecurity to better protect our natural resources
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:40
An enormous amount of goods and passengers are regularly transported by air and by sea to, and among, the countries within Micronesia. These countries are considered to be “hot spots” of biodiversity, and therefore, the accidental or deliberate introduction of diseases and/or invasive species (through the movement of people and products) could have an extremely negative impact on these fragile island environments.
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