University of Arizona
Latin America Project: Guyana & Mexico
Title: Developing Sustainable Aquaculture for Coastal and Tilapia Systems in the Americas
Lead US University: University of Arizona
Research in Mexico and Guyana was carried out from 2006-2013 and made progress to address the aquaculture challenges in these respective countries through capacity building and technical support. Building on longstanding relationships in Mexico, this project resulted in several achievements Advances in the science of snook reproductive biology led to successful spawning in captivity. With captive broodstocks and induced spawning, the long-term goal is to enhance stocks and help to replenish overfished snook in the Gulf of Mexico. Domestication also holds promise for small-scale farmers in the region. Advances in the husbandry of two native cichlids, the Tenhuayaca (P. splendida) and Castarrica (C. urophthalmus), also focused on the restocking potential of these fishes. Additional efforts toward their domestication as food fish are well underway with captive spawning and other techniques transferring to the private sector. Progress was achieved regarding the problem of hormone residues (methyltestosterone) escaping from hatcheries by testing the success of methods such as directed bacterial degradation and titanium dioxide treatments.
In Guyana, efforts were made to expand tilapia and indigenous fish aquaculture development. Locally available ingredients were also tested and developed to bring cost-effective practical fish diet options to local farms.
The outreach portion of the project was equally successful. The Eighth International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture (ISTA) had over 500 participants and the Ninth ISTA conference, held in Shanghai China, received more than 1000 participants. The number of completed training sessions, workshops, field days, conference sessions, presentations, and symposia exceeded expectations. An internship program between Mexican universities and US tilapia farmers proved to be especially beneficial for almost a dozen interns and the US and Mexican tilapia farms.