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Prawns Benefit from Tilapia's 'Green Water'

PHILIPPINES - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has intensified its dispersal of saline tilapia in Sorsogon to prevent shrimp disease in the provinces aquaculture farms.

Saline tilapia produces green water, a bio-control agent in prawn culture, reports BusinessMirror. In the system, tilapia is grown in net cages and the green water it produces helps control the growth of luminous bacteria that is bad for the development of shrimps and prawns.

Green water is the latest in biotechnology developed by the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) and the Institute of Aquaculture of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (AI-CFOS) of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.

According to BusinessMirror, Dr. Jesse Ronquillo and Prof. Valeriano Corre Jr. of the NIMBB and AI-CFOS developed this technology starting in 1999 to help prevent and control the spread of aquaculture diseases like vibrio or luminous bacteria.

An outbreak of the disease in 1993 resulted in high mortality rates among cultured shrimps and prawn that various grow-out farms in the Visayas were closed.

Several methods like chlorination, vaccines and antibiotics were applied but failed to control the outbreak.

The green-water project is a technique that basically involves the use of phytoplankton such as chlorella that turns the water green.

Ramos said saline tilapia is a producer of green water that the BFAR has been distributing fingerlings of the specie to aquaculture-farm operators to help them enhance their productivity.

Among the methods of combating aquaculture diseases, green-water technology has been the most effective and functional, as it inhibits pathogen growth, improves water quality and helps stimulate the immune system of species being cultured, he said.

Its use as a bio-control agent is simply an inexpensive means of improving the country’s shrimp-farming industry. The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Research has funded its research and development and is now promoting its use, Ramos said.

the Fish Site Editor

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