ADVANCEMENT OF BREEDING STRATEGY FOR CONSERVATION OF MALE CATFISH BROODSTOCK: MY ROLE

 Professor Ananias Tswanya Yisa

Thursday 7th October 2021

 African catfish (Clarias gariepinus and Heterobranchus bidorsalis) are aquaculture candidates, highly-priced, and of high preference to the consumers. They easily adapt to the African climate because of their unique characteristics such as hardy, fast growth rate, large size, air-breathing ability, omnivorous feeding habit and farmed in its pure form or as a hybrid. In view of the above features of these species, this strategy and technology to save and conserve the male catfish for re-use and for further genetic studies was developed. This will advance the course of fish production in order to alleviate poverty, create job opportunities and ensure food security in the country. There is a growing decline in wild fish populations as a result of overfishing and the effect of climate change hence the need to focus and expand our aquaculture practice. One of the ways to achieve this is through aggressive hatchery practice and management where mass production of reliable, genetically improved, and disease-free, and fast grow fingerlings is ensured for stocking production ponds.

The importance of these two species (Clarias gariepinus and Heterobranchus bidorsalis) in terms of supply and demand has necessitated the development of this breeding strategy and technology where the life of African male catfish broodstock is saved and conserved for future use after breeding against the traditional practice of killing and termination of their lives. The technology also offers the fish breeders /hatchery managers the opportunity to re-use several times the male African catfish broodstock for purpose of breeding and later sell the male spent spawners to boost their economic life.