USSEC Identifies Target Hatchery Cooperator in Thailand
- General News
USSEC continues its focus on the marine fish aquaculture industry in Southeast Asia (SEA). A large potential for increased formulated feed use in this industry has been identified. A shift from the traditional feeding practice of using fresh seafood to feed cultured fish and the demand-driven expansion of the industry have led to this opportunity.
One issue in the industry, however, is that the marine fish hatchery has not kept pace with the production industry. While there is a desire to increase production, there is a lack of both quantity and quality marine fish fingerlings necessary both for increased production and to demonstrate the benefits of shifting to quality formulated diets. Therefore, the USSEC SEA program has focused particularly on working with the marine fish hatchery industry in the region to help promote better practices.
Although this effort began in earnest in 2009, the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year marked a new approach. USSEC plans to focus on one hatchery per target nation to give more comprehensive advice and assist in improving operations. A USSEC team met with 88 Hatchery and Feedmill in December to discuss the interest of the USSEC SEA aquaculture program of working with this particular hatchery to improve its operations and to be a prototype. The specific reason for this visit was to discuss a broodstock feeding trial where USSEC will work with this cooperator to develop formulated broodstock feeds. Having hatcheries use formulated feeds for broodstock should eliminate the need for fresh seafood to be used as a feed source. Using fresh seafood as a feed source is an issue for water quality and is a potential disease vector. As this pilot program becomes successful at 88 Hatchery, the associated feedmill will also be able to supply broodstock feeds to other hatcheries in Thailand and possibly hatcheries in other Southeast Asian nations.
The project is slated to start as soon as February following a second trip by USSEC to the hatchery to determine a protocol, along with a trip by a USSEC feed specialist to work with the 88 Feedmill.