The overall objective of the project is to determine the technical and economic viability of periphyton-based aquaculture systems in South Asia. Specific objectives include :
* To determine the growth and production of periphyton in various aquatic ecosystems (pond, beel) and using different substrates and substrate conformations and the response to fertilisation.
* To explore factors which determine periphyton quality as food for fish.
* To determine abilities of different fish species to feed on periphyton and their grazing rates.
* To explore fish production under different stocking density regimes.
* To calculate nutrient and energy budgets from different production systems and to compare ecological footprints.
* To explore the sustainability and economics of periphyton-based fish production for food and for reservoir restocking and to identify potential beneficiaries.
The work will provide details of periphyton community structure and production in grazed and ungrazed environments. It will determine gross and net nutritional value of periphyton, provide a list of the most appropriate fish species for periphyton-based aquaculture systems in South Asia. Above all the study will provide technical, economic and environmental evaluations of the potential for periphyton-based aquaculture systems in the social conditions prevailing in South Asia.
Key activities are :
* Trials will be conducted using a variety of substrates/substrate densities and under various fertilisation regimes to determine periphyton production.
* The nutritional value of periphyton, in terms of protein, energy and micro-nutrients will be assessed. Digestibility trials, using purpose-built tanks, will be conducted.
* The periphyton-associated feeding structures and digestive tract of Puntius sophore. Labeo rohita and Labeo calbasu and, possibly, Labeo mrighala and Tor spp. will be studied using conventional and EM histology techniques. The periphyton-feeding abilities of fish species will be determined in laboratory-based grazing trials.
* Data on survival, growth and production of fish will be conducted on fry/fingerling and on-growing stages of production in trials conducted in both India and Bangladesh.
* Economic data will be collected on all research trials. Field trials are planned in association with other bilateral (e.g. DfID) and NGO (e.g. CARE Bangladesh) organisations active in extension work in the Region.
* Data on inputs and outputs will be used to derive mass balance estimates for nutrients (N, P, etc.). Energy use, ecological footprints and linear programming techniques will also be used. The sustainability of exploitation of materials for brushpark construction will be considered through assessment of resource availability, durability in water and impacts of harvesting on resources.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6700 AH Wageningen