Aquashade technology and PH's tilapia growers

Published July 11, 2021, 12:00 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) is monitoring a two-year project on the promotion of aquashade technology in Luzon to increase Nile tilapia seed production during warm months.

Installation of aquashade on top of a pond (CLSU/DOST-PCAARRD)

Under the project, funded by Council, the aquashade technology was installed in seven tilapia hatcheries in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac, and tilapia growers in Luzon benefited from it, increasing their fingerling production.

“Two hatcheries recorded an increase in fingerling production- R2M Aquafarm in Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecjia and BLim Tilapia Hatchery in Guagua, Pampanga produced more fingerlings in shaded ponds compared to unshaded hatcheries by 61 percent and 150 percent difference, respectively,” DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña announced on DOSTv Facebook page on Friday, July 9.

Rhomel A. Martinez of R2M Aquafarm in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecjia with aquashade over his pond (CLSU/DOST-PCAARRD)

The project, which is in its final year, is being implemented by the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), led by Dr. Emmanuel M. Vera Cruz.

“Tilapia growers in Luzon reap the benefits of aquashade technology, which reduces water temperature by more than 3°C (degree Celsius) and expects to increase spawning rate and seed/fry production by more than 100 percent in both pond-based and hapa-based seed production systems,” the DOST chief said.

The DOST-PCAARRD explained that aquashade technology involves installation of netting materials over the pond to provide shade during summer months.

“The technology aids tilapia production in the Philippines, which is greatly affected by increasing water temperature especially during warm months of the year. Interventions that aim to increase production were promoted and adopted to sustain the demand and ensure feasible income among tilapia growers in the country,” it said.

The results of the project were reported during the monitoring and evaluation activity organized by the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) of DOST-PCAARRD.

“Currently in its final year, the two-year project aims to increase seed production and income of tilapia hatchery operators in Luzon using the aquashade technology,” de la Peña said.

The DOST-PCAARRD said several seminar-workshops have already been conducted in Nueva Ecija, Isabela, and Bataan to encourage more technology adopters.

The workshops were attended by at least 50 tilapia hatchery operators.

With the current quarantine restrictions, the succeeding promotional activities were conducted through webinars to allow wider reach of audience, the Council said.