Nutritious-system pond farming in Vietnam
In nutritious-system ponds the potential of the pond ecosystem to mineralize wastes and produce natural foods is exploited. Jointly with industry, an innovative feed-the-whole-system concept is developed that will make pond farming more sustainable and predictable, strengthening livelihoods of vulnerable people, while producing high quality and healthy seafood.
Aim: Strengthening livelihoods within the aquaculture food chain, including vulnerable people, by providing stable income through more sustainable and predictable pond farming.
Objective: Increasing the contribution of natural food besides formulated feed in ponds with the aim to enhance sustainability and increase shrimp quality. The approach is called nutritious (pond) system.
Method: With the ongoing growth of the world population, we are facing an increasing demand for seafood. While global fisheries reach their maximum potential, there is pressure on aquaculture to increase production. Over the last decades, intensification of aquaculture resulted in increased water use, disease incidence, antibiotic and chemical use, reduced fish health and quality, reduced production predictability, and massive output of polluting waste materials into the environment. Nowadays the sector has become largely dependent on external nutrient resources instead of relying on the natural carrying capacity of ponds. Limiting resources such as fish meal as source of specific amino acids, or fish oil as source of omega-3 fatty acids, inhibit expansion possibilities of the aquaculture sector in the near future. Without compromising on current production rates, the nutritious-system project aims on reducing the dependency of aquaculture on external nutrient resources by stimulating natural food production in the pond, optimizing current feed formulations, and reducing waste output. By gaining more knowledge on natural food production and nutrient transfer in the pond’s ecosystem, an innovative easier and cheaper feed-the-whole-pond-system will be developed and implemented.
The research focuses on generating insight in 1) the dynamic processes related to production and transfer of omega-3 fatty acids by algae in the pond, and 2) ways to balance the algae:bacteria ratio for optimal decomposition, maintenance of water quality and nutritive value of fish and shrimp. In this way aquaculture becomes more efficient and predictable, feeding costs will be lower and the environmental impact will be reduced by fewer disease outbreak and water quality failures. A stronger aquaculture industry will be beneficial to many different stakeholders including poor and vulnerable people.
Countries: The outcome of the project will provide innovative applications for farming shrimp and fish in ponds, which is largely found throughout Asia. The research will be carried out at indoor research facilities in The Netherlands, and at outdoor pond facilities in Vietnam.
Dutch policy goals: Increase sustainable food production; Decrease environmental pollution; and Improved access to nutrition.
Duration: September 01, 2014 – September 01, 2019