Improved Stocks and Management Practices for Commercial Tilapia Culture in Hawaii and the Pacific Region
University of Hawaii Sea Grant Extension Service and University of Guam
J. Szyper and D. Crisostomo
Year 1 Hawaii Component:
- Establish a tilapia quarantine and project working area at the University of Hawaii at Hilo aquaculture program facility. All existing tilapias will be eliminated from the site before the project begins.
- Obtain permits and import: a.fingerling blue tilapia, Oreochromis aureus (a state-permitted species on list C: permitted for commerce) from a suitable commercial farm source that will guarantee disease-free stock. b.fingerling Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (recently approved for list A: restricted, research) from a similar commercial source.
- Quarantine the imported stocks (both species, if permits are granted) pending examination, and obtain certification of disease-free status by the state fish health management program (which has agreed to assist with this specific project).
- Grow and mature breeding stocks from the imported population(s), both species, if permits are granted.
- Produce offspring from the new breeder stocks of O. aureus, and use them to institute a breeding management program to preserve their genetic quality into future generations.
- Obtain at least three existing commercial tilapia stocks from within the state (one each from Oahu, Hawaii, and Maui islands), and perform the first growth comparison trial between in-state and imported stocks (both species, if permits are granted). Also, send fingerling O. aureus to Oahu for comparison trials there.
- Characterize the imported (both species) and comparison stocks for genetic identification by microsatellite DNA markers. This will be done for each stock at the beginning of growth trials and for the imported stocks near the end of the project.
- Communicate the first year’s results (broodstock management protocols, growth comparisons, draft of BMP manual) in at least two public workshops and in widely accessible written materials (newsletter articles, web postings) apart from project reports.
Year 1 Guam Component (formerly Year 3 of Guam project):
- Produce offspring from breeder stocks developed during Year 2 work (two best types for reproductive capacity) and institute a breeding management program to preserve their genetic quality into future generations. It may be necessary to import additional broodstock of these two types. The breeder management program will be analogous to that for Hawaii Year 1 Objective 5 above, with modification for Guam site conditions.
- Send samples of fish from each of the lines established for breeder management to Hawaii for genetic testing.
- Distribute modest numbers of fingerlings to the community for examination and testing on farm sites, subject to protocols and local shared agreements to avoid interference with markets.
- Evaluate and improve production protocols established in Year 2.