One of the greatest needs of the Guam Aquaculture Industry has always been a functioning hatchery to meet the demands of the commercial aquaculture farms. Guam has never had a hatchery that could meet the needs of any sector of the industry. This project is a new approach, that will allow individual farms to establish an on-farm hatchery to meet their individual needs. They may also produce more juveniles than needed on their farm and can sell excess fry to other farmers. A new and expanding Community Backyard Aquaculture Sector will also provide a demand for tilapia fry. Economical production demands the use of all-male tilapia juveniles as stocking material.
A small-scale tilapia hatchery module will be designed with a minimum monthly output of 10,000 fry. Each module can be replicated to meet the production goals of each farm or persons interested in producing tilapia fry. Fry will be treated with 17-alpha methyltestosterone to induce all-male (95%) juveniles. An INAD permit will be obtained. Participants may fall under this permit if they meet the requirements of participation set by USFWS. The first hatchery module will be assembled and operated at the University of Guam. Workshops and training sessions with the general public will be held near the end of the first year. Persons interested in setting up will be provided a list of equipment and materials needed. A Build and Operate Manual will be published in the 2nd year. A module will be provided to 1 cooperator to serve as demonstration system on a working tilapia farm within the community. The cooperator will be required to work alongside the PI during the set up of the first system and be available to work on the system for a minimum of 40 hours, before he/she will be qualified for the on-farm demonstration system. A webinar on the project and its status will be held in year 2.
Several Interested persons in the Commonwewalth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) have expressed interest in starting tilapia production farms in Saipan. They will be included in webinar trainings. One participants from Saipan will be funded to travel to Guam for the 40 hour certification training. Others desiring training from outside Guam will be accommodated at their own expense.
Cooperators wanting to be included in the INAD permit will undergo training on requirements and will sign a cooperative agreement to perform all requirements, with approval from USFWS.
Project objectives from proposal:
1) Expand technical capacity of tilapia producers, ag/aqua professionals and others in the aquaculture industry to increase the quality and quantity of tilapia produced. Ag/Aqua professionals include biologists and technicians from the Center for Island Sustainability, Sea Grant, Guam Department of Agricuture, NRCS personnel, EPA professionals, Extension agents with the University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service, and others.
2) Increase technical knowledge for farmers and Ag/Aqua professionals in tilapia biology and knowledge of reproduction and sex-reversal in tilapia fry.
3) Increase knowledge of aquaculture and tilapia reproduction technology, to students at all levels (elementary, middle, and high schools, college level).
4) Develop standardized processes for spawning and hatching and sex-reversal of tilapia.
5) Share standardized processes and lessons learned with fellow collaborators, University of Guam students and other aquaculturists through its current Sea Grant Extension education program and webinars.