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NACA Hatchery Course Lights the Way

GENERAL - Three Skretting scholars were among the 19 participants from 10 countries attending the recent NACA Regional Grouper Hatchery Production Training Course in Indonesia.

The hatchery course, now in its sixth year, is run by the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) and the Brackish Aquaculture Development Centre (BADC) Situbondo. It is aimed at farmers, hatchery operators and technicians, and at people that have limited aquaculture background but want to develop in this direction. BADC Situbondo has been involved with applied research on grouper aquaculture, especially hatchery technology, since 1994.


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"Training focused on small-scale hatchery systems that can be used for multiple species but the technology can be adopted by medium- and large-scale operations"
Dr Sih Yang Sim, coordinator of the NACA Marine Fishfish Aquaculture Program.

“Training focused on small-scale hatchery systems that can be used for multiple species but the technology can be adopted by medium- and large-scale operations,” says Dr Sih Yang Sim, the coordinator of the NACA Marine Fishfish Aquaculture Program. “The technologies were developed by various institutes in the region including the Australia Centre for International Agriculture Research, Research Institute for Mariculture-Gondol and the extension centres of the Directorate General of Aquaculture in Indonesia.”

Fish feed producer Skretting supports the annual course by offering scholarships for two or three people involved in aquaculture to attend each year. For 2008, two scholarships were for candidates from the private sector and one was for a candidate from a regional R&D centre actively working on marine finfish aquaculture. The scholarships covered the training fee, travel, accommodation and most meals during the three-week course.

In addition to providing the scholarships for the training course, Skretting sent its Technical Manager from the Marine Hatchery Feeds Division, Nick King, to provide presentations and demonstrations of rotifer culture, and rotifer and Artemia enrichments.

Hands-on from egg harvest to larviculture

During the training course, participants were able to conduct hands-on activities from egg harvest to larviculture. Field trips to hatchery, nursery and grow-out facilities for grouper and marine finfish were organized to give participants a broader understanding of marine finfish operations in Indonesia.

Taweesin Peatpisut, from Kung Sam Farm, Chanthaburi, Thailand, says, “During the training course I participated in theory and practical courses on larval rearing of groupers, broodstock management, live feed culture, feed and nutrition of fish, fish diseases, site selection, hatchery design, equipment and setup in addition to visiting hatcheries and aquaculture stations. This was really a significant course for me, not only supplying knowledge but also improving my practical skills in hatchery management of groupers and other fish.”

Ng Hon Fui, from Malaysia echoes his comments. “I learned a great deal in all aspects of grouper larvae rearing. The topics that will benefit me most include proper water treatment for larval rearing, routine larval rearing procedures such as what and when to feed and how much to give, hatchery sanitation, live feed production procedures that are efficient and easy to follow, and live feed enrichment, cofeeding and weaning. Last but not least was the selection and management of broodstock. There are not many broodstock keepers in the region where I come from, thus it would be a good idea to keep some broodstock ourselves.”

Le Quoc Viet from Vietnam was the Skretting R&D scholar. “This was really a significant course for me. It provided knowledge and an opportunity to improve my practical skills in hatchery management of groupers and other fish. After completing the training course, I returned to Can Tho University to continue my research on breeding and farming marine fish.”

Skretting Scholarships

To qualify for a Skretting Scholarship for the private sector, candidates must be actively working in aquaculture, with practical experience of brackish or marine aquaculture. They must be competent at reading and communicating in English and should be from a developing country that is a member of NACA. The scholar from an R&D institute must also demonstrate that attendance at the course will benefit the development of marine finfish aquaculture in his or her country.

The NACA course is run in English and successful participants receive a Certificate of Accomplishment. The course is usually run at least once per year, details of future courses will be announced on the NACA website.

Ellen Hardy

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