Written by Engelbert R. Lalican, Eman Noel G. Cañada, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services
Mr. Rhomel A. Martinez of R2M Aquafarm in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecjia with aquashade over his pond (Image credit: Jairene C. Pinkihan, CLSU)
Tilapia growers in Luzon reap the benefits of aquashade technology, which reduces water temperature by more than 3°C and expects to increase spawning rate and seed/fry production by more than 100% in both pond-based and hapa-based seed production systems.
Aquashade technology involves installation of netting materials over the pond to provide shade during summer months. The technology aids tilapia production in the Philippines, which is greatly affected by increasing water temperature especially during warm months of the year. Interventions that aim to increase production were promoted and adopted to sustain the demand and ensure feasible income among tilapia growers in the country.
The aquashade technology was installed in seven tilapia hatcheries in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac. Two hatcheries recorded an increase in fingerling production- R2M Aquafarm in Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecjia and BLim Tilapia Hatchery in Guagua, Pampanga produced more fingerlings in shaded ponds compared to unshaded hatcheries by 61% and 150% difference, respectively.
Installation of aquashade on top of a pond (Image credit: Jairene C. Pinkihan, CLSU)
These outputs are part of the project, “Promotion of Aquashade Technology in Luzon to Increase Low of Nile Tilapia Seed Production During Warm Months,” being implemented by the Central Luzon State University (CLSU). The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) funds and monitors the said project.
The accomplishments were reported during the monitoring and evaluation activity organized by the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) of DOST-PCAARRD. Currently in its final year, the two-year project aims to increase seed production and income of tilapia hatchery operators in Luzon using the aquashade technology. Dr. Emmanuel M. Vera Cruz of CLSU leads the project team.
Project technical staff, Ms. Jairene C. Pinkihan presented the project activities and accomplishments, including information, education, and communication (IEC) materials in English and Filipino, showing the overview and step-by-step guide on how to install and use aquashade.
To promote wider adoption of aquashade in Luzon, several seminar-workshops were conducted in Nueva Ecija, Isabela, and Bataan and were attended by at least 50 tilapia hatchery operators. With the current quarantine restrictions, the succeeding promotional activities were conducted through webinars to allow wider reach of audience.