The Main Association of Marine Cultivation Research and Development (BBPPBL) of Gondol is a research and development organization under the Association of KKP Marine and Fishery Research and Development, located in Gondol, Penyabangan Village, Gerokgak Sub-district, Buleleng District, bali. BBPPBL Gondol in Bali has a mandate to perform research and development activities in the field of marine fish seeding and rearing. The achievements of BBPPBL Gondol, Bali has successfully produced various packages of seeding and rearing technologies that have been applied to the society and received positive responses. Some of them are the seeding and rearing technology of Milkfish, Humpback Grouper, Brown-Marbled Grouper, Camouflage Grouper, Spotted Coral Grouper, a few Hybrid Grouper, Abalone, and Giant Tiger Prawn.
In line with the mandate, BBPPBL Gondol continuously makes attempts to establish a research institute prominent in providing data, information, and technology of marine cultivation. Therefore, BBPPBL Gondol has again conducted research and development of yellow fin tuna cultivation and has successfully spawned yellow fin tuna in HDPE floating marine cages. This serves as a solution for the ever dangerously decreasing spawning tuna population in Indonesian waters. Indonesia is known as the largest yellow fin tuna producer, which holds 75% of global yellow fin tuna production. The decreasing population is due to over-fishing. The high tuna demand in the world market urges huge exploitations, causing the population to decrease within the past 10 years. The catching territory tends to get further towards the high seas, and the catch per unit effort (CPUE) is getting lower and lower. Those obstacles become burdensome for fishermen with limited capitals, and the cost for catching tuna is higher than the cost for producing tuna within a cultivation unit. Therefore, the most appropriate solution to preserve the existence of yellow fin tuna is cultivation.
Based on this condition, the Ministry of Marine and Fishery (KKP) develops cultivation for yellow fin tuna. The research coordinated by the Association of Marine and Fishery Research and Development (Balitbang KP) is done at the Main Association of Marine Cultivation Research and Development (BBPPBL) in Gondol, Bali, and is focusing on the cultivation of yellow fin tuna in floating marine cages, offshore.
According to the Head of the Association of Marine and Fishery Research and Development (Balitbang KP), Achmand Poernomo, in the yellow fin tuna cultivation process, 114 potential parents with size of 0.5-1kg are obtained from the waters of North Bali Sea. Tuna is considered as parents that can naturally spawn when reaching the size of 20-30kg, with one year rearing process. Inside the floating marine cages, the tunas are fed twice a day. The potential parents are given high protein feed; flying fish and squid, with a 1:1 ratio. Vitamins are added to that fresh feed in the amount of 2.5% of the feed. From the tuna spawning process in the floating marine cage, approximately 400-500 thousand tuna eggs are produced. Later on, this baby tuna nurtured within the marine cage can be cultivated by the people.
The Head of Central Research and Development of Cultivated Fishery, Tri Heru Prihadi, explained that technically, tuna research is initially conducted in a concrete tub in order to easily observe their behavior, health, appetite, egg collection, and to properly control the water quality. However, the bad side of this method is death, especially because of stress which causes the fish to hit the concrete wall, abnormal body surface due to friction with tub wall, and slower movement of the fish as it grows due to the ratio between its body size and the tub diameter. With those obstacles, Tri said, yellow fin tuna parent fish rearing is moved to the sea and uses floating marine cage. And it is recorded that rearing in floating marine cages in the sea results in above 80% survival rate. The Main Association of Marine Cultivation Research and Development (BBPPBL) Gondol then decided to start using HDPE floating marine cages for yellow fin tuna cultivation as of 2013.
Gunawan, a yellow fin tuna researcher at BBPPBL Gondol explained, BBPPBL Gondol has been using four units of Aquatec floating marine cages to rear tuna fish; 3 units with a buoy diameter of 50m, (48.8m net diameter), 2.5 inches mesh size, and 9m net depth, and one other unit with 35m buoy diameter. The tuna technician at BBPPBL Gondol, Ananto, said that the research activity of yellow fin tuna seeding requires not just any, but a high standard floating marine cage.
The reason BBPPBL Gondol uses Aquatec floating marine cage is due to its lasting and durable nature against big offshore waves. The usage of Aquatec floating marine cage in northern Bali waters where the yellow fin tuna seeding research is conducted by BBPPBL Gondol is highly appropriate due to the strong waves. For this research activities of yellow fin tuna seeding, BBPPBL Gondol uses the circular cages. This shape is to adjust to the natural habitat of tuna, which is a fast swimmer. “Aquatec floating marine cage is highly beneficial to support research and development activities of marine cultivation at BBPPBL Gondol, from seeding to rearing,” said Ananto.
“The spawning of tuna in this KJA is the first tuna spawning to take place in Indonesia. In the future, it is expected that the eggs from this spawning can yield seeds which can be applied by the cultivator society. The success of spawning of this fish with the scientific name Thunnus albacares becomes a new history for the national marine and fishery sector. This is because Indonesia has become the first country to cultivate this pelagic fish starting from the spawning stage. This achievement is something to be proud of as well as our real step in supporting a sustainable fisheries development, which can guarantee the life sustainability of tuna fish along with the business,” said Achmad Poernomo. The spawning of yellow fin tuna is the fruit of hard labor of the BBPPBL Gondol research team. “The success of this spawning is because the research team continuously conducted technology assessment in terms of the spawning pool construction, parent fish caring techniques during spawning, and feed and water management,” he said.
The opportunity for tuna cultivation is deemed open wide still, with the availability of baby tuna in Indonesian waters. “Tuna cultivation in Indonesia has excellent prospect since it is no longer possible to increase captured fish production,” Poernomo said. However, Tri Heru Prihadi, the Head of Central Research and Development of Cultivated Fishery, explained that in order to support this dream, the fishing and transportation technique of baby tuna from the fishing territory to the cultivation location must be developed. “We need to continually seek to apply appropriate technology in this regard,” said Tri.
For this reason, BBPPBL Gondol makes continuous efforts to improve their tools and facilities, which currently includes larva nurturing and spawning facilities, parent fish rearing media, hatchery, plankton media, marine cages, root-blower for aeration, sea water pump, feed processing laboratory, chemistry laboratory, biology laboratory, pathology and biotechnology laboratory, and cold storage. The tools and facilities at BBPPBL Gondol are considerably complete and ready to face globalization challenges and global trend which stars to shift from ground protein resources to marine protein resources, and to bring positive impact on improving marine cultivation businesses. This is important considering the fact that marine cultivation has become a business with bright prospect.