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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Indigenous prawn successfully reared  (อ่าน 2604 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 12, 2010, 06:22:08 PM »


USP hatchery. (Photo: USP Seawater Laboratory)

Indigenous prawn successfully reared

FIJI
Thursday, August 12, 2010, 16:40 (GMT + 9)



The USP Seawater Laboratory has successfully reared the Monkey River prawn or Macrobrachium lar (M.lar) indigenous to Fiji and numerous Pacific Islands. The laboratory’s achievement represents a landmark in aquaculture.

An article recently published in the SPC newsletter informed that the M lar has been researched since the 1970s in Hawaii to assess the species’ potential for farming.

Researchers hoped to rear this prawn breed similarly to its cousin, the Malaysian giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) responsible for an annual production value of some USD 1 billion in Asia alone.


Prawn harvest. (Photo: USP)
The rearing from eggs through to the planktonic larval phase of the life cycle to the post larval stage of the prawns was co-supervised by SPC's Aquaculture Section.

Known locally as ura dina, the species possesses several positive characteristics for aquaculture, including its size, prevalent recognition among local communities as a delicacy and its robustness, which allows it to survive out of water for short periods.

Also importantly, it is indigenous to many Pacific Islands where interest exists in developing freshwater prawn farms.

Involved in the successful research were Monal Lal, Johnson Seeto and Tim Pickering, who concur that if research on the species culture methods can make breeding and farming more practical, the introduction of an exotic prawn to institute freshwater prawn farming in the Pacific could be circumvented.

A major drawback to ongoing research into the fitness of the Monkey River prawn for culture, they said, had been hitherto the failure to rear young prawns in captivity post hatching.

"Past researchers could reach stage six or seven out of 11 or 13 larval stages," they told.

Post larvae for any culture work had to therefore be harvested by hand from the wild, an endeavor both time consuming and tiresome.

This constitutes an obstacle for larger scale aquaculture operations with this species because the easiest and most sustainable way to acquire large amounts of post larvae for commercial farming is via a hatchery.

Satya Nand, who recently finished his PhD thesis on the aquaculture of ura dina at the University of the South Pacific, has researched far-reaching field trials and trials to rear the species to the post larval stage in the hatchery.

The study’s success has been credited to the creation of an appropriate feed that better meets the nutritional requirements of the species.

Also, it was determined that the ura dina goes through 13 stages in the ocean before changing into post larvae.

After turning into post larvae, the species migrates landward before settling in high elevation freshwater streams deep inland.

Researchers continue to investigate capture-based culture of the Monkey River prawn to grow out as a cash crop in small ponds by rural households. Fiji's prawn population would then be able to feed the country’s burgeoning population.

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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