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NCKU Transfers Grouper Aquaculture Technology

TAIWAN - National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in southern Taiwan has transferred a novel immune-inhibition technology on grouper aquaculture to a farming firm, helping it to cut production cost by as much as 75 per cent.

Hwung-Hweng Hwung, president of National Cheng Kung University, and Ho-Hsiu Chen, chairman of Grobest Feeds Corporation, signed a contract on the technology transfer on November 15.

"The technology transfer will dramatically shorten the fish aquaculture period from 14 months to 10 months, cutting both risks and costs," Chen said.

He estimated that the technology will add NT$2.2 billion (US$72.85 million) to the company's revenue in the next five years and increase its market share.

The technology on grouper aquaculture was developed by Tzong-Yueh Chen, director of the Institute of Biotechnology at NCKU, over the past three years. It allows faster growth in grouper and increases the meat and fat content without the use growth hormones.

According to Mr Chen, it takes an ordinary grouper farm 14 months to produce a marketable 600g grouper at a prime cost of NT$40. With the newly-developed technology, his team only needs 10 months to produce the same size of fish at a prime cost of NT$10. That means a 75 per cent reduction in cost.

Back in March, NCKU and Taipei-based Merit Ocean Biotech Inc. signed a technology transfer license deal to domestically promote mass production of high-quality and disease-resistant grouper fingerlings.

Grouper is a high-value fish widely used in Asian cuisine. The warm weather in southern Taiwan makes it an ideal place for raising grouper all year round.

the Fish Site Editor

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