USSEC recently provided trade and technical services to fish producers in Colombia.
USSEC Technical Consultant - Aquaculture Gina Conroy provided technical servicing to address fish health management issues and help improve the survival rates, growth efficiency, and production of tilapia and trout in the Colombia market. Dr. Conroy visited fish producers who are customers of Solla, one of Colombia’s biggest aquafeed producers. The country’s current fish production is approximately 95,000 metric tons (MT) per year and about 4,000 MT of shrimp.
The tilapia production industry has been affected by low survival due to the possible presence of a virus killing fingerlings around the country. In general, the aquafeed mills have increased the uses of soy in aquafeed diets; this action is important because the farms that have been certified for BPA are required to decrease the use of fishmeal in the diets for fish and shrimp.
Dr. Conroy provided technical assistance about fish health programs, biosecurity, and aquaculture best practices that permit the improvement of tilapia production and increase the consumption of feeds containing U.S. Soy-based products. Seven one-on-one meetings occurred during the visit to tilapia and trout operations with recommendations given (increasing the temperature during sexual reversion; increasing the vitamin C in the feed; improving the water exchange, etc.). The fish producers need to check the chemical factors of the water regularly, and consider how to change the culture system when river water starts to decrease.
Finally, the USSEC consultant recommended that the producers continue with technical support through talks, workshops, or diagnoses inside the farms. The farmers also need to continue improving their management of the culture systems and check the health status of the fish continuously.