A Comparison of Polyculture Production of Freshwater Prawn (Macrobrachiumrosenbergii) with Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Stocked as “Free Range”and Confined Cages

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CONFERENCE: Posters-at-the-Capitol

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Stocking tilapia in cages into freshwater prawn ponds has been shown to increase prawn production as well as increase overall pond production. Tilapia growth may be increased if they were not confined. However, their direct interaction with prawns has not been evaluated. Prawns were stocked in nine 0.04 ha ponds at 62,000/ha. Three ponds received no tilapia (control). Six ponds received tilapia at 44,000/ha. In three ponds the tilapia were evenly divided into two 1 m3 cages, in the other they were stocked unconfined. At harvest, prawns stocked with free range tilapia had significantly lower (P < 0.05) average harvest weight (26 g) and production (1625 kg/ha) than prawns stocked with tilapia in cages (38 g and 2465 kg/ha, respectively). There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in tilapia stocked free range or in cages among average harvest weight (484.4 g) and production (2293 kg/ha). Tilapia stocked in cages had a significantly higher (P < 0.05) survival rate (99 %) than tilapia stocked free range (90 %). Based on these data, it appears that both the prawns and tilapia perform better when the tilapias are confined, probably due to reduced interaction and competition for food.