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November 11, 2014

'Magic Water' May Permit Seafood Breeding Far From the Ocean, Feed the Hungry
JICA experiments with prawn cultivation in inland Cambodia using Japanese professor's technique

photoExperimental facility for “third water” in Takeo Province

An experiment is underway in Cambodia's Takeo Province to produce young prawns needed to breed the luxury food freshwater scampi, or giant river prawn, using "third water" developed by Associate Professor Toshimasa Yamamoto of Okayama University of Science.

JICA, to look for opportunities to apply this third water in developing countries, is carrying out the experiment as part of the Freshwater Aquaculture Improvement and Extension Project. The artificial water for breeding consists of fresh water with a little sodium, potassium and other electrolytes added. It reduces the incidence of sickness and promotes fast growth in marine life. Yamamoto calls it "magic water" that allows fish to be raised anywhere.

The experiment is being carried out in the four months between September and December when giant river prawns incubate. JICA selected three farms in Takeo Province, where it is carrying out the Freshwater Aquaculture Improvement and Extension Project, and created a facility for the experiment. It began raising hatchlings and producing young scampi beginning in November.

Until the eggs of giant river prawns become young prawns, salt water brine (diluted sea water) is needed, but this region is far from the ocean and sea water must be brought there to produce young prawns. If it were possible to farm them using artificial water, it would save that labor and could become a model for marine product farming in noncoastal areas.

When “third water” is used in combination with a closed circulatory breeding system, it is proven to shut out external pathogens and create a high survival rate until the larvae become young prawns.

The experiment in Cambodia will investigate whether it is actually possible to breed young shrimp at farms in the interior with no coastline and how much it would cost to do so.

If it became possible for third water and closed circulatory breeding systems to spread to interior farms, the possibilities would grow for introducing breeding to undeveloped regions in developing countries including Cambodia that had been thought to have low potential for such breeding, and it could lead to anti-poverty measures and increased food production in agricultural areas.

*The contents of this story is a summary of a story included in the below newsletter (in Japanese).

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