The trials were conducted in cage-based farms in China (Zhanjiang), Indonesia (Lampung), Thailand (Krabi, Phang Nga and Phuket) and Vietnam (Nha Trang).
The data from each country was analysed in respect of growth, production and economic benefit for the two feed types. The details of these analyses will be made available on this site and in respect of some of the countries published in peer reviewed journals.
The species used in the trials were:
- China: Crimson snapper/Red snapper (Lutjanus erythopterus) and Green/orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides)
- Indonesia: tiger grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus).
- Thailand: Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) and tiger grouper.
- Vietnam: Pompano (Trachinotus blochii) and red snapper. The result of the trials indicate that the differences in the efficacies of the two feed types were not markedly different, for all the species tested, even after accounting for differences in the locations for any one species.
The trials also showed that all species can be weaned from one feed type to the other without any significant impacts on feed intake and or overall performance. In all the participating countries there was consensus that use of pellet feed offer many advantages and that the farmers were willing to make a shift from trash fish/ low value fish to pellet feed. Equally, one of the constraints in this regard was the lack of feeds specific for grouper species, difficulty in accessing pellet feeds and the cost.
Most stakeholders were of the view that small scale farmers in a locality should form associations and make purchases collectively, thereby increasing bargaining power and even perhaps access to credit from the suppliers. The stakeholder consultation held in Krabi, Thailand requested the development of dissemination material indicating the advantages of using pellet feed in marine cage culture, which was followed by other participating countries.
The trial results were presented at stakeholder meetings in each of the countries, in June- July 2010, when feedback will be used to develop appropriate strategies, including dissemination mechanisms of the major findings.