For tilapia, skipping meals is not so bad after all. In a 2006-2009 study on the tilapia grow-out cages in Lakes Bato and Buhi in Bicol and Laguna de Bay, skip-feeding management proved to be economically viable and allowed for more production runs compared to daily feeding. Moreover, this remarkable collaborative study between SEAFDEC/AQD, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) revealed that with such alternative feeding scheme, a much lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) is achieved and consequently, with lower feed inputs and lower production cost, degradation of the lake ecosystem is reduced.
“The skip-feeding scheme has been successfully verified in all study sites,” said AQD Scientist Dr. Ma. Lourdes Cuvin-Aralar who implemented the ACIAR studies. She presented her results at the 2010 World Aquaculture Conference in California, USA and at the 2010 Forum on Fishery Science and Technology in Wuxi, China.
AQD thus advocates skip-feeding management with low feeding rate for tilapia as a good fish cage management as this cuts feed cost by half.
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