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Philippines Eye Biotechnology for Aquaculture

Economics +1 more

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - To meet the growing demand for local food supply and emerging markets for marine products, the aquaculture sector is turning to biotechnology for ways to develop better fish spawns and even develop biofuel from marine algae.

"Aquaculture production should increase to meet the demand for fisheries products," Evelyn Grace T. de Jesus-Ayson, scientist from the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, said.

Mediatrix P. Cristobal, author of the report, wrote that in Southeast Asia, consumption of fish products is seen to balloon to 19.7 million metric tons by 2020, from the 14.1 million MT in 2000.

Production, meanwhile, is seen to grow only 19.7 million MT by 2020 from 16.0 million MT in 2000, not enough to meet regional demands, she said.

According to the news report, biotechnology refers to any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for a specific use.

In her presentation "Global Status and Prospects on Fisheries and Aquatic Biotechnology" in UP Diliman, Ayson said applications of biotechnology in aquaculture includes control of reproduction, genetic characterization and population genetics, aquaculture nutrition, control of diseases, growth enhancement and transgenesis, genetic characterization and population genetics and high density culture of micro-algae