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Tilapia fry. (Photo: Agriculture and Forestry University of Rampur)

All-male fry tilapia production begins

Monday, June 19, 2017, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

Agriculture and Forestry University of Rampur, Chitwan, has started commercial all-male fry tilapia production intended to meet the demands of the farmers in the region.

These farmers were demanding unisexual male tilapia as rearing both male and female tilapia in the same pond was affecting productivity, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Tilapia is a mouth breeding species as female tilapia carry the fertilised eggs and young fish in their mouths for several days to protect them from predators. Therefore, the pond used to get crowded with a large number of fish hampering their growth.

The researchers from the university were successful in producing the all-male fry after feeding the seven-day old hatchlings with a certain type of hormone which converts the sex of the fish to male.

“We start feeding hormone to hatchlings, mixing it with fish food,” said Narayan Pandit, associate professor of aquaculture department of the university. “We are using such technology for last two months and we have been successful till date.”

Currently, the hormone used for producing all-male fry tilapia is imported from abroad and 5 grams of such hormone costs USD 100 and 5 grams of hormone is enough to produce 500,000 fries.

“There is another research going on to produce such hormone in the university,” said Pandit. “If we are successful in producing such hormone, it will significantly decrease the cost of production of all-male fry.”

Given the success of the research, the government is building a separate hatchery at Kathar to breed this variety of fish, which can survive extreme conditions like low oxygen and abrupt changes in temperature.

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