Sunday, November 4, 2018

Species focus: Milkfish

By Rebecca Sherratt, Production editor, International Aquafeed

The Milkfish (Chanos Chanos) is the national fish of the Philippines, referred to locally as the ibiya.
They dwell primarily in the Indian Ocean, but are also present in the Pacific Ocean, from South Africa to Hawaii and the Marquesas, from California to the Galapagos, north to Japan and south to Australia.

Milkfish commonly live in tropical offshore marine waters around islands and along continental shelves, at depths of between 1-30m. They also frequently enter estuaries and rivers. They are stenothermic fish, so therefore if you farm them in fish farms, they must be kept within extremely specific temperatures, otherwise they will fall ill and die.

The milkfish can grow to 1.80m (5 ft 11in) but are often no more than one metre (39in) in length. They can reach a weight of approximately 14kg and can live up to an impressive 15 years. Milkfish have elongated bodies, with a generally symmetrical and streamlined appearance with one dorsal fin, falcate pectoral fins and a sizable forked caudal fin, which assists the milkfish in steering and swimming.

Their mouth is small and toothless, and their body a pale olive green, with silvery flanks and dark bordered fins.

Considered to be iliophagous, (a fish that gains its nutrients from eating decomposing plant and animal parts), milkfish ingest the various micro- and meiofauna found on the ocean floor. They can also be weaned onto artificial feed, provided they are fed this within the first two-to-eight-days of hatching.

Read more HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

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