- Animals: fish
- Animal Production: feed/forage
- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
The freshwater fish, tilapia, was introduced to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas islands in 1995 to satisfy the fish-consuming Asian population of guest workers as well as the islands’ indigenous peoples.
Fresh tilapia is widely accepted and will command $2 more per pound than frozen imports from Asia. However, the supply of fresh fish is low because of difficulty in obtaining fry, or newly hatched fish. Currently, producers are obtaining fry from Guam, but supplies are uncertain and the importation of an aquatic animal pathogen is a threat.
Ines Guerrero will use her Farmer/Rancher Grant to explore the use of an artificial fry incubation system. The fry will be hatched in jars, removing them from the predator environment with other brood stock. Supplying producers with the needed number of fry will bridge the gap between the high demand for tilapia and low supply of young fish to grow.
The results will be shared with island producers through advertisements, workshops, field days, printed materials and brochures and will also be posted online.