Culture and economics of wild grouper (Epinephelus coioides) using three feed types in ponds
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The performance of wild Epinephelus coioides juveniles was compared by feeding with live tilapia juveniles, fish by-catch, and formulated diet for 5 months in grow-out ponds. To minimize cannibalism, the groupers were graded into small (BW=24.9±7.3 g), medium (45.8±5.7 g), and large (84.1±30.0 g) size groups as block in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) and reared in nine 350-m2 ponds. To supply the tilapia juveniles, adult tilapia were grown 2 months prior to stocking of grouper at a rate of 15 tilapia/grouper. Grouper fed by-catch were significantly higher (P<0.01) than the other treatments in terms of final length and total production. The quality of by-catch could be gleaned by its efficient feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 1.0 (dry basis), significantly better (P<0.01) than the formulated diet that had an FCR of 2.8. Using by-catch, 47% of the harvest weighed >400 g and only 14% was classified <200 g. The cost of juvenile grouper and feeds represented 88–89% of the total investment in all treatments. Economic sensitivity analysis showed that a combination of improvement in factors such as price of grouper juveniles, feeds, yield, survival, and FCR would result in higher return-on-investment (ROI). When cost and returns were considered, feeding juveniles with by-catch was more profitable because it resulted in net income of Php 361,623/ha/year, an ROI of 155%, and a payback period of 0.4 year. The results clearly show that these economic indicators appear to be attractive, thus making grouper pond culture using by-catch a viable industry. More research efforts should, however, be directed towards developing a cost-effective formulated diet for the grow-out culture of E. coioides.
Suggested CitationBombeo-Tuburan, I., Coniza, E. B., Rodriguez, E. M., & Agbayani, R. F. (2001). Culture and economics of wild grouper (Epinephelus coioides) using three feed types in ponds.
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