DIVERSIFICATION OF AQUACULTURE IN SOUTHERN USA: POLYCULTURE OF PRAWNS AND TILAPIA

Period of Performance: 01/01/1987 - 12/31/1987

$40K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Covenant Aquaculture Corp
1936 North Druid Hills Rd Ne, Northh Druid Square Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30319
Firm POC

Abstract

THE TRADITIONAL AQUACULTURE IN THE SOUTHERN USA EMPHASIZES THE PRODUCTION OF CATFISH AS THE MAIN CROP ORGANISM. DIVERSIFICATION OF THE GROWING INDUSTRY TO INCLUDE NEW CROPS IS NOW ESSENTIAL FROM A PRACTICAL VIEW. COVENANT AQUACULTURE CORPORATION PROPOSES TO EXAMINE THE PRODUCTION OF THE FRESHWATER PRAWN MACROBRACHIUM ROSENBERGII, AND TILAPIA, IN A POLYCULTURE SYSTEM, IN A PRODUCTION SCHEME SPECIFICALLY ADAPTED TO TEMPERATE ZONE CLIMATIC CONDITIONS. IN THE MARKETING TRIALS PERFORMED BY COVENANT AQUACULTURE CORPORATION, BOTH THESE SPECIES RECEIVED POSITIVE RESPONSES. THE CULTIVATION OF PRAWNS AND TILAPIA IS HIGHLY ADVANCED IN ISRAEL AND IN TAIWAN, COUNTRIES WHICH SHARE THE CLIMATIC RESTRICTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN USA. BASED ON UNDERSTANDING THE BIOLOGICAL AND AQUACULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS (POPULATION STRUCTURE, FEEDING BEHAVIOR, NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, GROWTH RATES, AND NICHE OCCUPANCY)AND ON PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE, THEY PROPOSE THAT CO-CULTURING OF THESE SPECIES IN A POLYCULTURE SYSTEM WILL IMPROVE OVERALL FEASIBILITY WHEN COMPARED TO PRODUCTION OF MONOCULTURE SYSTEMS EITHER OF EACH SPECIE ALONE, OR, POSSIBLY OF CATFISH. IN PHASE I, THEY WILL EXAMINE FOUR MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES TO DETERMINE THE OPTIMAL RELATIVE DENSITIES OF EACH ORGANISM UNDER VARIOUS TREATMENTS, INCLUDING MODIFICATIONS OF FEEDING SCHEDULE AND PARTIAL HARVESTS. POSITIVE RESULTS OF PHASE I, IN TURN, WILL OPEN POSSIBILITIES FOR A NEW AGRICULTURE BRANCH THROUGHOUT THE SOUTHERN USA ALLOWING FARMERS AND CONSUMERS ALIKE TO BENEFIT FROM THE DIVERSIFICATION OF PRODUCTS PRODUCED IN THE FRESHWATER AQUACULTURE.