For a successful aquaculture business, feed supplements are essential to increase the productivity of farmed aquatic species which will redound to increased economic gains for fish farmers.
A team of researchers from the Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries and Ocean Science, UP Visayas (UPV-CFOS) has developed a seaweed-based dietary supplement that improves the profitability and sustainability of cultured aquatic animals.
The study led by Prof. Rex Ferdinand M. Traifalgar, CFOS-IA director and an expert in nutritional immunology, found that the eubiotic feed supplement developed from seaweed significantly improved the feed conversion efficiency (FCE), growth performance, and gut health of farmed aquatic species such as tilapia, white shrimp, and milkfish.
The research revealed that growth rate and feed conversion ratio, two indicators that determine the profitability and success of an aquaculture business, were enhanced with the use of the developed seaweed-based eubiotic supplement.
Eubiotics are dietary supplements that improve gut health and enhance the physiological health and performance of an organism.
“Faster growth and better feed conversion translate to faster harvest time and better profit gain since feeds are efficiently converted into body tissues,” Traifalgar said.
The eubiotic feed supplement significantly improved the FCE by 30 to 50% while 40 to 60% was noted in the growth performance of farmed aquatic animals.
The use of the duly developed seaweed-based supplement also improved stress responses as well as increased the beneficial lactic acid bacteria count of said aquatic organisms.
“Application of this supplement can increase the economic gains of Filipinos venturing in aquaculture,” Traifalgar stated.
The project was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) program. (With sources from CFOS-IA)