Hands-on training helped proliferation of tilapia culture in Bangladesh.
Realizing the need to develop appropriate skills of extension worker, 2nd Fisheries Training and Extension Project (FTEP-II) funded by Department of International Development (DFID), UK focused to develop the skills of DOF officials as trainers. The main goal of the project was to demonstrate the direct benefits to the poor that could result in by improving the capacity of trainers and by supporting the application of this capacity in extension service delivery. Under the project, a group of selected DOF officers (extension workers) were sent to the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) based in Thailand for training on mono-sex hatchery management and cage culture of tilapia in 2001.
Thinking to apply the knowledge and skills gained through 4-week hands-on training, one of them upon his return to workplace (Fish Breeding and Training Center, Raipur) collected F6 generation of Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) from Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) which was originally from ICLARM, now World Fish Center. Applying selective breeding high quality seeds of GIFT were produced and 3.7 million seeds were distributed among the farmers during 2002. By motivating the private farmer and providing the technical support, a mono-sex tilapia hatchery and grow-out farm (Ambar Fisheries) was established in Laxmipur district in 2002. In the same year, cage culture was promoted among private entrepreneurs. As a result, 40 cages (6mX3mX1.5m=27m3) were set in the Dakatia River in Chandpur. Following the success, cage culture expanded to Laxmipur district in 2006 due to which demand for seed increased. Under the technical assistance of the same person, Pioneer Fisheries and hatcheries started its operation in Chandpur district in the same year. After the success of these first few hatcheries which produced several millions of high quality sex-reversed tilapia fry, many others showed interest. At least four hatcheries came into operation between 2006 and 2008 in mid-southern part of Bangladesh. After this, proliferation of mono-sex hatcheries and cage culture started in many parts of Bangladesh. About 3,500 cages are in operation now in Chandpur along the Dakatia River, 500 cages in Laxmipur along the Meghna River. Culture involves stocking of 37-40 sex-reversed tilapia fry of 20-25 g size per m3. Fish grow around 400 g in 6-7 months giving around 15kg/m3 productivity when fed floating feeds. Mortality remains
Baqui, M.A.; Bhujel, R.C. Hands-on training helped proliferation of tilapia culture in Bangladesh. In: Liping, L.; Fitzsimmons, K. (Eds) Better Science, Better Fish, Better Life. Proceedings of the ninth international symposium on tilapia in aquaculture, Shanghai, China, 21-25 April 2011. AquaFish Collaborative Research Support Program, (2011) 311-322. ISBN 978-1-888807-19-6