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New tilapia hatchery for Timor-Leste


July 15, 2016
By Erich Luening

A new tilapia hatchery opened earlier this year in Timor-Leste (East Timor). The goal of the new facility is to help battle undernourishment in the southeast Asian country by growing more fish for local consumption. The goal is to raise consumption from 6 to 15 kg by 2020.

The hatchery is a crucial part of the National Aquaculture Development Strategy (2012-2030) and part of a $4 million USD Partnership for Aquaculture Development in Timor-Leste to produce Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT).

The GIFT program run by the WorldFish poverty and hunger advocacy group was first supplied to Timor-Leste in April 2015 when 10,200 broodstock were sent from WorldFish Headquarters in Penang Malaysia to the Gleno Fish Hatchery in Ermera. In parallel, the construction and refurbishment of the new hatchery at Gleno was undertaken, with work completed in December 2015 and operations starting from early January 2016, according to a WorldFish statement.

WorldFish developed the GIFT strain, which thrives in a wide range of environments and reportedly grows significantly faster than other strains of non-improved fish.

The hatchery has the potential to produce up to five million fry per year. The fry can, in turn, be supplied to support Timor-Leste’s burgeoning aquaculture industry with proceeds fed back into the hatchery for running costs and development.

–  Erich Luening