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Natural Food Better for Tilapia, Fishery Exec Says


PHILIPPINES - Tilapia fishes given natural food were found to be tastier than those fed commercial fish feeds - and the practice reduces production costs.

This was the contention of fishery officials in Cagayan Valley as they spearheaded a recent training on 45-day delayed feeding technology, reports Business Mirror.

Hermogenes Tambalque III, extension chief of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said this new technology aims to cut expenses of fishpond operators on commercial feeds, which, according to studies, account for as much as 70-80 per cent of total production cost.

“This technology takes advantage of the fact that tilapia, by nature, feeds on phytoplanktons [minute plants]. By delaying by 45 days the onset of introducing commercial feeds, we can save as much as five bags, or roughly P3,500 in today’s prices,” he said.

The delay in feeding does not adversely affect the overall growth of the fish stocks and actually enhances cost-benefit ratio for budget-conscious tilapia farmers, he added.

Tilapia fingerlings would have difficulty digesting artificial feeds and that supply of natural food in the pond, given right fertilization, will still be abundant at the early stages of culture period, Mr Tambalque added.