Essay On Fish Feed

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Feed is recognized as the most costly component of fish farming which constitutes 60-70% of total production costs of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) for small-scale, rural farmers in the Philippines (ADB 2005). The cost of commercial fish feeds are rising sharply as the market demand increases to supply growing aquaculture and the availability of fishmeal declines. About 40% of feed costs are attributable to fishmeal, which constitutes 15-20% of the feed formulation. Reductions in both the amount of feed used for grow-out of marketable fish and in the cost of formulated feeds are two approaches to containing feed costs that can effectively increase income for tilapia farmers.

Much of the fishmeal used for tilapia in the Philippines is imported, and costs are expected to rise in the future as global supplies become constrained by increasing demands from other aquaculture and declines in commercial bait fisheries. Because tilapia are omnivorous fish, they do not require fish in their diet and capable of using other food by-products (Brown 1983). Unlike carnivorous fishes, tilapia can digest high levels of carbohydrate in their diet (Anderson et al. 1984; National Research Council 1993), and they can effectively utilize human food
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1989; Diana 1997). A number of mixed feeding schedules that involved feeding Nile tilapia O. niloticus alternately with high- and low-protein feeds were tested where the fish responded well to some of the mixed feeding schedules (i.e., high-protein feed alternated with low-protein feed) and that fish on mixed schedules exhibited growth performance that was comparable to the performance of fish reared entirely on the high-protein feed. A substantial cost saving on feeds was realized, and the nitrogen loading of the system was reduced by some of these feeding schedules (De Silva 1985, 1989; De Silva et al.

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