By Azman Zakaria
Photos by Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, June 23 – Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Agriculture Faculty of the Aquaculture Department has beefed up efforts to realize its potential of producing more and better aquaculture species.
Senior lecturer of UPM’s Aquaculture Department, Encik Abdullah Abdul Rahim said efforts were being focused towards distributing fish fry to the relevant parties.
Among the programmes being carried out are enhancing fish hatchery and breeding of Puchong Red Tilapia at UPM Research Station in Puchong.
The hatchery and breeding of Puchong Red Tilapia commenced at the end of last year by fish genetic and cross-breeding expert, Associate Professor Dr Yuzine Esa, and it has now entered the second phase of research for the second generation of fish.
He said the research was aimed at producing tilapia species with dark red colour through cross-fertilization between female Red Tilapia obtained from Semenyih with Tilapia Gift obtained from the Philippines. The Tilapia Gift stock is placed at the World Fish Centre in Pulau Pinang.
He also said Tilapia Gift boast faster growth rate with solid meat but their colours are dark and bluish.
“We are cross breeding the fish and researching the second generation of fish. For the fish breed, we choose ones with no spots on their body (flawless body) in our research for better fish fry and species.
“The research is expected to take at least two years before it is completed. Already there are students giving their 100 per cent on this research,” he said.
Encik Abdullah also said an Agro-Entrepreneurs Incubation Programme is also offered at UPM. Through this programme, former graduates of universities and colleges who are employed but interested to learn the field of agriculture will be given an intensive training for six months, covering the aspects of technical, practical and marketing.
Besides that, he said UPM Aquaculture Department is collaborating with the National Agricultural Training Council (NATC) in producing a training module, apart from working closely with UPM Holdings to carry out aquaculture-related training programmes.
Encik Abdullah who is involved in academic activities, mainly on prawn breeding and water quality management, said marine prawn production in Malaysia had plunged due to Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) diseases affecting white prawns since three years ago.
He added that the prawns faced pressure mainly due to poor water quality. – UPM.
Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia