Update on PNG aquaculture project to improve industry and benefit local people

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Researchers from UNSW, Papua New Guinea (PNG), funding partners DPI Fisheries NSW and NSW Crawford attended a meeting at ANSTO, Lucas Heights in late July to take stock of work to to improve the genetically improved farmed tilapia industry in PNG and a farmer engagement project supported by the Crawford Fund and UNSW.

Researcher Joshua Noiney, an aquaculture officer at the PNG National Fisheries Authority, whose studies and training have been supported by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) with a UNSW-based John Allwright Fellowshipphilanthropic funding from UNSW, an ANSTO FutureNow Scholarship, plus a stipend from the Crawford Fund Committee, describes his work at develop inland aquaculture in PNG. The main focus of his presentation was on stakeholder engagement which was funded during the COVID-19 shutdowns by the Crawford Fund and UNSW.

Narelle Hegarty and Joshua Noiney examine fish samples in ANSTO’s Istopes laboratory

Joshua is combine a variety of scientific methods, including isotopic and elemental profiling of fish tissues and statistics, with environmental assessments and resource management in his research. Read more

It is imperative that we can understand the growth rate of Nile tilapia and the best diet so that local farmers can maximize their profits and improve,” Joshua explained.

“Specifically, my Masters project has the potential to increase the production of fish fingerlings and directly benefit the growing industry, which supports the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and their families in the future. home. My research on improving fingerling production is linked to the umbrella project funded by ACIAR.

Joshua’s training and research activities were supervised at ANSTO by Dr. Debashish Mazumder and Assistant Professor Jes Sammut from UNSW. UNSW and the Crawford Fund are also financially supporting Joshua to collect important social impact data, produce farmer training videos and develop methods to collect agricultural production data in remote areas of PNG.

Joshua uses techniques that ANSTO has developed in collaboration with UNSW and DPI Fisheries for the improving the diet of Pacific oysters in NSW hatcheries.

“We can explore the interaction of isotopes and elements in fish tissue samples using stable isotopes and micro-X-ray fluorescence scanning and feeding to determine the precise nutritional requirements of fish. fish at the hatchery stage,” Dr Mazumder said.

A/Prof Jesmond Sammut of UNSW, who leads a Australian Center for International Agricultural Research-funded by the Inland Aquaculture Program in PNG, explained how Joshua’s MPhil project will further contribute to the main research program‘s fight against protein deficiency issues in rural PNG through an improved supply of fish fingerlings from essential quality.

The ACIAR umbrella project has improved access to fish protein, as well as food and nutrition security through the National Fisheries Authority’s school and prison fishing programs and a network of file and NGOs that help train farmers.

The UNSW, through a generous philanthropic contribution, and the Crawford Fund enabled Joshua and his colleagues to share fish farming methods using a variety of audio-visual extension methods.

The research is being led by UNSW and the PNG National Fisheries Authority with ANSTO as a key contributor providing nuclear techniques, analytical tools and expertise not available in PNG,” Joshua said.

The approach will help identify food ingredients that are not important and can be excluded from production systems, saving money and reducing waste generation. In particular, Joshua’s research focuses on optimizing the growth and quality of fish fry. Reducing farming costs and optimizing growth are challenges facing aquaculture globally.

Aquaculture meeting

Stakeholders gathered to discuss the progress of aquaculture activities in Papua New Guinea

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Karina Meredith, Acting Head, Environmental Research and Dr. Suzanne Hollins, Head of Research at ANSTO. Dr. Hollins provided insight into nuclear science and technology at ANSTO and supported scientific capacity building for students and early career researchers through various programs including AINSE fellowships.

Joshua is in Australia to strengthen his skills through further study and research on a Master of Philosophy program.

zero hunger

ANSTO proudly supports the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Nuclear and related techniques help farmers protect the health of their livestock and improve animal breeding and husbandry practices while conserving natural resources.

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