DR. AUGUSTO SERRANO JR., director of the graduate program of UP Visayas, is studying the use of seaweeds as feed ingredient in the diet of shrimp and tilapia. The goal is to replace part of the soybean meal in the commercial feed with seaweeds. One reason why commercial aqua feeds are expensive is because soybean meal costs P28 to P32 per kilo.
In laboratory experiments, replacement of up to 60% of soya meal with seaweeds in shrimp feed produced comparable result with commercial feed in the market. The next step would be to conduct the trial in the fishpond.
Dr. Serrano said that if the cost of feed for growout of shrimp could be reduced by just P2 per kilo, a saving of P65,000 per hectare per cropping is possible.