Zen Trinidad writes for the Philippine News Agency that an innovative, locally-developed feed for shrimp, milkfish and other high value fin-fishes is now available in the country. The feed is known as Juan Algae, a microalgae paste developed by the University of the Philippines-Visayas College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (UPV-CFOS) and the UPV Museum of Natural Sciences.
Juan Algae was developed under the “Improvement of microalgae paste production for aquaculture” program and funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and CFOS-Institute of Aquaculture of UPV.
Soledad S. Garibay, project leader of UPV-CFOS, said microalgal paste is made up of concentrated microalgae cells, which can be directly used as feeds to copepods, rotifers and early larval stages of milkfish, shrimps and other high-value fin-fishes. She added that this newly-developed local feed is a better alternative than buying expensive imported, frozen and non-viable microalgae products or procuring other algal inoculum to start a culture.
Juan Algae and live microalgae’s performance showed the same results in terms of density with respect to time, while the growth of milkfish fed with live microalgae and microalgae paste had no significant differences.
Having a shelf life of three months from the time of production, Juan Algae can also be used as starter to produce another batch of live microalgae culture.
Made out of four commonly used microalgae species in aquaculture — Tetraselmis sp., Nannochloropsis sp., Chaetoceros calcitrans, and Chlorella vulgaris — the Juan Algae is all natural, with no preservatives added, making the product eco-friendly, said Ms. Garabay.
Juan Algae is now being introduced in the market as part of pre-commercialization efforts, including market analysis and product validation.