On Thursday, August 29, 2019, the BMR-R.O.C (Taiwan) Aquaculture Project (AP) distributed 4000 rabbit fish fries (3500 meyas and 1500 klsebuul) to two fish cages constructed and deployed by the Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR) for the Ngchesar State government as requested by Governor Florencio Adelbai.

The delivery process was carried out by BMR Director Leon Remengesau, AP experts Jack Lin and Cheng, exchange intern Davis Chen of National Pingtung University and the BMR team of PMDC technicians who are fast becoming expert fish cage builders.

The governor, on behalf of Ngchesar State, was selected to be a pilot farmer by BMR Director to introduce aquaculture, after Ngiwal State, to the east coast of the Babeldaob main island.

The cage materials, nets and feed are made possible through current grant assistance from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In addition, the fries were provided free from the Aquaculture Project as requested by BMR Director Remengesau.

“The Bureau will do its best to promote rabbitfish aquaculture since we have a strong team now” he said. “To maximize the profit for farmers, we have to enlarge the scale of culture.

With that in mind, the BMR-R.O.C (Taiwan) project will soon support a third cage in Ngchesar State,’’ he remarked.

Last year, most of the farmers had less than ideal harvests due to inappropriate practices. This year, the AP experts are putting increased effort in training farmers, recording field data, establishing monitoring systems and modifying feeding programs.

On the other hand, many farmers had expressed their supposed lack of confidence regarding the presumed high cost of feed available in the program, prompting TNC director Steven Victor to hire a nutritionist consultant from the University of Miami to conduct specific experiments at the Palau National Aquaculture Center (PNAC) located in the BMR compound.

“We wanted to know which fish feed product that can be brought to Palau is the best in nutritional value to rearing the rabbit fish. The result of the TNC study showed that among the three brand feeds tested on the rabbit fish, the one that showed fast and most growth measured on the fries was the brand that the nutritionist brought from the US, followed by the Taiwan brand imported for the BMR-ROC AP Project. The last one was the feed from the Philippines,” BMR Director revealed.

According to the Director, this should put down any complaints from the farmers who may have had reservations on the quality of feed BMR is providing as well as convince them that the original price of feed which was $32 per sack was worth it. “Importing the top feed from the US would be too costly.

Without question, the Taiwanese brand is the best in value and price. And so, to further incentivize the farmer and strengthen the feeding consistency, this original price per sack has been reduced to $22 per sack for the pioneer farmer.

In all honesty, a good harvest now depends truly on the performance of the farmer feeding his stock of fries. With that, I want to sincerely thank State AO Mr. Chabby Mai and state employee Ms. Eunice Ngotel for personally receiving the fries and providing us with a fantastic lunch you probably can only have in Ngchesar State,” sconcluded Director Remengesau. (Taiwan Embassy Media Release)