By CHARLEY SIKAL/Capitol FM 107 – Vanuatu’s No1 Radio Station
Tilapia fish farming is generating interest on the Vanuatu islands of Santo, Ambae and Pentecost, and will be expanding to the southern islands of the country very soon, as it can adapt well to climate change, according to fisheries experts.
Aquaculture Officer Andrew Williams says, “Currently, it has been developed and utilized as a potential meat source in quite a few communities throughout Vanuatu and expanding as more and more farmers are introduced to this new species and how it is resistance to climate change.”
He pointed out that various investigations and trials were carried out to determine the potential of tilapia farming on these islands, and some of the government’s aquaculture technicians had been to these islands, supervising and constructing several tilapia fish ponds.
Based on the results, Williams suggest that tilapia fish farming will improve protein supply, support income generating opportunities, food security programs and coastal fisheries management by relieving fishing pressures on coral reefs.
He said the Ministry of Fisheries is aware that, even though tilapia farming is still in its infancy stage, it stands a very high chance to succeed in rural island communities because it is becoming an income generating activity. Despite its distance from the coast, it is hoped that in the future, locals will no longer be eating just vegetables and produce, but will also become self-sufficient in fish production.
He says the Department of Fisheries is grateful for the contribution of these communities and landowners for promoting aquaculture development.