Production of all male fry tilapia begins in Chitwan

- Bimal Khatiwada, BHARATPUR

Jun 19, 2017-Agriculture and Forestry University of Rampur, Chitwan has started commercial production of all-male fry of tilapia fish for the first time in Nepal. The university took on the endeavor to produce such type of fish to meet the demands of the farmers in the region. Professors and students of the university were successful in producing the unisexual tilapia after conducting lengthy research.   

The farmers were demanding unisexual male tilapia as rearing both male and female tilapia in the same pond was affecting productivity. 

This species of fish is a very efficient breeder as they will mature within three months and can begin breeding, in any condition. 

Tilapia is a mouth breeding species as female tilapia carry the fertilised eggs and young fish in their mouths for several days to protect them from predators. Therefore, the pond used to get crowded with a large number of fishes hampering their growth. 

Farmers are euphoric about the successful research results. 

The researchers from the university were successful in producing the all-male fry after feeding the seven-day old hatchlings with a certain type of hormone which converts the sex of the fish to male. “We start feeding hormone to hatchlings, mixing it with fish food,” said Narayan Pandit, associate professor of aquaculture department of the university. “We are using such technology for last two months and we have been successful till date.” Although, this technology is not new in other parts of the world, the researchers from the university were successful for the first time in Nepal. 

Currently, the hormone used for producing all-male fry tilapia is imported from abroad and 5 grams of such hormone costs $100 and 5 grams of hormone is enough to produce 500,000 fries.  

“There is another research going on to produce such hormone in the university,” said Pandit. “If we are successful in producing such hormone, it will significantly decrease the cost of production of all-male fry.” 

In the past, different fish development centres made several attempts to produce all-male tilapia to meet the large demand of the farmers involved in aquaculture. 

Most failed in their attempt whereas some didn’t give continuity owing to huge cost involved in it. The university, however, is planning to give continuity to its research as well as meet the farmers’ demand. 

The government is also building a separate hatchery at Kathar to breed this variety of fish.  

Tilapia is a highly nutritious fish, rich in omega-3 oil which is good for patients with heart ailments. The fish contains less bone than other fish and has a good taste, making it popular among fish lovers. It can survive extreme conditions like low oxygen and abrupt changes in temperature. 

Published: 19-06-2017 08:33

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