Preliminary Analysis of the Economics of Siganid Fish Culture in Palau

May, Robert C.
McVey, James P.
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Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (formerly Hawai'i Marine Laboratory)
This report analyzes the economics of culturing siganid fishes in Palau, based on data obtained at the Micronesian Mariculture Demonstration Center (MMDC) for Siganus canaliculatus and S. lineatus. The cost of producing fry at the MMDC hatchery is examined, followed by an analysis of the economics of culture in ponds and in cages. For both systems, "standard" methods are first considered, and then the probable economics effects of intensification are examined. Finally, the economics of culture for the ornamental fish trade and of hatchery production to support a culture-based fishery are briefly examined. With the possible exception of culture for the ornamental fish trade, the various systems considered here for siganid monoculture do not appear capable of yielding a profit, given the stated assumptions. The major problems include high production costs, which are related to the slow growth rates so far documented for the two species considered; and the low local market price for siganids, coupled with the high cost of transportation to markets with higher prices (and greater volumes). It is concluded that research on siganid culture in Palau should concentrate on reducing production costs through intensification and the development of faster-growing strains which are more tolerant of pond conditions (or the discovery of other siganid species with these attributes), and on increasing the value of the crop through polyculture and the exploration of new markets. Culture for the ornamental fish trade and for release are special cases for which economic justification may already exist. This analysis is considered preliminary because of the newness of siganid culture and the limited technical data available at this time.
[28] leaves ; 28 cm.
May RC, McVey JP. 1977. Preliminary analysis of the economics of siganid fish culture in Palau. Honolulu (HI): Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai’i. Report No.: 34.
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