Tuesday, November 19, 2013

International Freshwater Aquaculture Training Report: Sukamandi, West Java, Indonesia: Sept-Oct 2013

Research Institute for Fish Breeding (RIFB), Sukamandi


International Freshwater Aquaculture Training

28 September to 13 October 2013

Research Institute of Fish Breeding (RIFB), Sukamandi, West Java, Indonesia


The training was conducted at the Research Institute of Fish Breeding (RIFB), at Sukamandi. The training is part of the South – South Cooperation (SSC) under FAO, were participants hailed from Africa, Asia and Oceania. Through FAO – SSC program, there is a memorandum of understanding on technical assistants and capacity building, skills transfer to 3rd world countries.

The objective of the training program was, aquaculture technology transfer and equipping technical staff members with skills and knowledge on selective breeding programs.

Brief outline of Research Institute:

Research Institute of Fish Breeding (RIFB), is mandated to:

1.    Produce Genetically Modified Broodstock and seed of various species (prawn, tilapia, catfish)

2.    Distribute the seed (product) to the farmers (users)

There is a mutual understanding between the farmers and RIFB, whereby initially the institute supplies fry for free to the farmer and in return accurate and valuable data on set intervals. This data, once analysed forms basis for grow – out production of fish in various environments coupled with the centre based research.

The institution has 5 breeding programs (headed by promoter supported by researchers and technical assistants) namely; Pangasiid catfish, Clariid catfish, Tilapia, Common carp and Freshwater Prawn. Under those programs, all aspects of aquaculture are covered, including: Broodstock Management, Seed production, hatchery operations, Grow – out Management, Nutrition and Health Management. Each program has its own supporting structures namely; hatchery, rearing, nursing and grow – out facilities (earth ponds).

The highly informative and educational lectures were taught by qualified researchers from various breeding programs, and specializing in aspects of aquaculture based at RIFB and other institutions.


There are five main species being researched on and improved upon mainly;

1.    Tilapia ( Freshwater and Saline), Oreochromis niloticus, O. aureus, O. mosambicus

2.    Pangasiid Catfish, Pangasius hypophthalmus & P. djambal

1.    African Catfish, Clarias garipinus

2.    Giant Freshwater Prawn , Macrobracium rosengbergii

3.    Common carp, Cyprinus carpio

During the research activities the centre focus on desired traits of fast growth, salinity tolerance, disease resistance and flesh quality (white) in several species, as shown in Table 1. To date from the breeding programs two species are available for commercial aquaculture, white flesh Pangasiid catfish – “Patin Pasupati” (2006) and high salinity (30ppt) tolerant Tilapia, “SRIKANDI” (2012).

Table 1: Desired traits and methods used

Method (s)
Pangasiid catfish
F1 Transgenic Heterozygous

Family Selection
7.16% Selection response

Flesh Quality (White)
White flesh catfish launched for aquaculture 2006
Salinity tolerance and growth
Hybridization (interspecific)

Salinity tolerance and growth
Family Selection
12.22% (est) Selection response

Disease resistance (Streptococcus agalactiae)
MCH I (alfa) and MCH II marker (specific primer)
Common Carp
Growth and Disease Resistance (KHV)
Individual Selection
7.27%  genetic gain

Disease Resistance (KHV)
F1 Transgenic heterozygous
Clariid catfish
Mass selection
G1: 20.58% genetic gain for body weight
G2: 11.79% genetic gain for body weight

F2 Transgenic Heterozygous (2 fold growth)
Freshwater Prawn
Individual Selection
18.62% Genetic gain after 4 generations

Rice cum fish culture

This form of aquaculture is mostly practiced in rural areas, since 1860. It is environmental friendly and socio – economically viable. During this culture, one crop of rice, results in 2 crops of fish / prawn.

Practical Activities

1.    Physiological and Genetic Laboratory - Transgenic Fish gene transfer using electroporation.

2.    Introduced to various equipment such as the  Automatic DNA / RNA Extraction processor, Thermal cycle and Real Time PCR( DNA / RNA analysis) , Horizontal and vertical electrophoresis (molecular marker analysis and protein analysis) , electroporator (gene transfer),  and acoustic flow cytometer (ploidy, microbiology ) amongst others.

3.    Nursery and grow – out management of Pangasiid

4.    Pangasiid Broodstock selection, hormonal treatment, stripping, fertilization and artificial incubation.

Catfish gonadectomy

Catfish breeding, the male catfish testes are only cut 75%, the male is sewed up and kept in isolation for 4 weeks. Partial gonadectomy of male catfish (Clarias garipinus), for further information read paper by O.T. Adebayo*, E.A. Fasakin, J.A. Adewumi, (2011), Reproductive performance of partial gonadectomised male African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus broodstocks, Elsevier.

Saline Tilapia

The Nile Tilapia is transformed into saline tilapia by gene manipulation, derived from 8 different strains of tilapia. Growth supplement, DNA vaccine and Salinity gene marker – stress supplement techniques are applied. The saline tilapia hybrid locally known as SRIKANDI can withstand salinity up to 35ppt. Saline tilapia have higher DHA (Omega 3 FA), no mud odour and more delicious. It also shows good growth as due to high salinity, there is limited reproduction and all energy converted to growth. The best saline tilapia is a strain derived from O.aures and O. niloticus (Nirwana).

The saline tilapia reach marketable size in 3 months of rearing whereas the local tilapia takes 5 – 6 months. The ready saline tilapia larvae / fry, from RIFB are distributed to the backyard hatchery or local fisheries department and finally to grow – out farmer.

Field Visit

    A.  Cage culture, Jatiluhur

Culture of tilapia and common carp in man-made reservoir. Interesting design is being used of double netting (top net host common carp and bottom net tilapia), all uneaten feed by common carp is consumed by the tilapia.

b  B.   Backyard Hatchery

The backyard hatchery design varies with farmer, based on skills and resources at hand. In order to operate the hatchery, the farmers are trained on aquaculture technology of fish nursing / hatchery and marketing. Whereby the breeding station sells larvae to the farmer at reasonable price.

About 40 million Pangasiid larvae per year are produced at the breeding station, then distributed to the farmers with backyard hatcheries. The fry are grown for 20 days at 35 ͦC and sold to grow – out farmers at 150 IDR (15 cents/piece). Greater number of the backyard hatcheries do not utilize external heat source, rather heavy line the hatchery with plastic, limiting heat movement (like greenhouse).

The fish are given feed in three stages during the 20 days period, as follows:

Type of Feed
5 days
6 days
Pellet (30-40% CP)
9 days


Given, we are starting with Oreochromis andersonii tilapia breeding program, the information and skills learned will be a valuable addition in realisation and success of the endeavour. This course is vital for developing aquaculture countries to improve production and engage intensive culturing system and do breeding programs.

Apart from the theoretical knowledge and skills acquired, we learned more about Indonesian Culture, as well as off all other participants. Vital networks have been established with the RIFB researchers as well with the participants, a platform where information will be shared on aquaculture development.

In order to enhance capacity, skills training should continue but more in form of hands-on participation at farm level for extended period, be it in Africa or worldwide. I would like to thank MFMR, FAO – SSC and RIFB for affording me the opportunity to learn this vital skills to improve aquaculture development in Namibia.

Figure 1 and 2: Participants at RIFB, Sukamandi – official opening with FAO Rep Dr. Musaraf (sided –centre) and Dr. Imrod Nawawi (sited – far right) – RIFB’s Director

Figure 3 and 4 : Award ceremony and gifting to RIFB staff from Trainees

Figure 5 and 6 : Class participation and practicals at RIFB

Figure 6 and 7 : Physiological and Genetic Laboratory practicals at RIFB – Transgenic fish using Electroporation.


Figure 8 and 9 : Group discussion

Figure 10 and 11: Cage farming in artificial dam and induced spawning of Pangasiid catfish

Figure 12 and 13 : Backyard hatchery for Pangasiid larvae
Figure 14  and 15 : Leisure times, Panah (centre) birthday and prawn day

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