Aug 202014

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines  – Bangus (milkfish) production here and in Sual town, the two major producers in Pangasinan, goes high-tech with the pilot experimentation of a solar-powered aerator system as a defense against fish kill and to improve cultivation.

Makiko Takaoka, general manager of Nomura Research Institute, said this is the first time they will see the whole cycle of bangus production using the solar powered aeration system.

“We can expect more oxygen will be digested by the fish, growth rate will be more effective and mortality will be decreased,” said Takaoka, whose group coordinated the project.

Hirano Seiji, senior vice president of Power Bank System that developed the aeration system, said this was first introduced in Japan four years ago and they saw remarkable growth of tuna as well as oyster.

The experimentation for bangus production in the Philippines would take about four to five months and once it succeeds, they intend to introduce it to other Asian countries.

An initial study using solar panels for milkfish production was commissioned by the Japanese government in 2012 in Laguna. However, there was limited observation on the improvement in the water quality and fatality rate of the fish due to the timing and duration of the project, which was only one month.

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Power Bank System Co., Ltd., supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), shall perform demonstration in order to gather additional data, conduct training for local personnel about the operation of solar-powered aeration system and promotion activities for the dissemination of such system.

About 175 pieces of bangus fingerlings were released in each of the four fishponds used as experiment area at the BFAR research facility in Bonuan Binloc village here.

In the coastal village of Bacquioen in Sual town, about 15,700 pieces of bangus fingerlings were released in one fish cage.

The project introduces “Ukishima,” a floating aeration device consisting of a rust-free and light-weight solar panel made of polycarbonate that can be used on the water for a long period of time, and a micro bubble generator which is an ultra-fine air bubble generating device developed by the Prefectural University of Kumamoto that supplies oxygen and stirs the water.

Westly Rosario, BFAR center director, hopes the problem of fish kill brought about by low dissolved oxygen level in fish cage areas will be addressed by this solar-powered system, which is also more cost effective in the long run.

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