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Taiwan 2nd in world to artificially breed blackthroat sea perch

02/05/2024 09:33 PM
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CNA photo Feb. 5, 2024
CNA photo Feb. 5, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's Fisheries Research Institute (FRI) has developed artificial reproduction techniques for blackthroat sea perch, making Taiwan the second country in the world, after Japan, to successfully breed this highly sought-after fish, the FRI said Monday.

Famous among Taiwanese for its delicious taste and attractive color, blackthroat sea perch (scientific name: Doederleinia berycoides) fetches between NT$1,400 and NT$2,000 (US$44.60 to US$63.70) per kilogram for a large tail due to its short supply.

FRI Director-General Chang Chin-i (張錦宜) said blackthroat sea perch is a deep-sea fish typically found at depths of 400 meters below the sea's surface.

That poses challenges to artificial breeding, Chang said, due to the distinct atmospheric pressure conditions between the deep-sea and aquaculture environments.

With the help of local fishermen in September and October 2023, FRI researchers successfully caught blackthroat sea perch that had ascended to depths of 200 meters below sea level for breeding, Chang said.

Blackthroat sea perch captured from the wild, which provided sperm and eggs for artificial insemination, are seen during a press conference held in Taipei by the Fisheries Research Institute on Monday. CNA photo Feb. 5, 2024
Blackthroat sea perch captured from the wild, which provided sperm and eggs for artificial insemination, are seen during a press conference held in Taipei by the Fisheries Research Institute on Monday. CNA photo Feb. 5, 2024

Following the catch, FRI researchers conducted artificial insemination using sperm and eggs from sexually mature male and female fish captured in the wild, and the artificially fertilized eggs were sent to FRI's Tungkang Aquaculture Research Center for further cultivation, Chang said.

Involved in the development of artificial reproduction techniques for the fish since 2007, FRI assistant researcher Lee Yen-Hung (李彥宏) told CNA that of the 50,000 artificially fertilized eggs, only 500 fries averaging 3-6 centimeters long had been successfully bred.

Japan has released fries into Toyama Bay since 2016, and Lee hoped that in three years, when the initial batch of artificially bred blackthroat sea perch became sexually mature, Taiwan will be capable of artificially breeding a second batch from the first.

That would establish a "full-life cycle aquaculture" for blackthroat sea perch.

"We have just successfully artificially bred it, following the progress of Japan. If everything goes as planned, we might be the first in the world to achieve 'full-life cycle aquaculture' three years later," Lee said.

(By Sunny Lai)

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This series of images showing the growth of an artificially bred blackthroat sea perch from the fertilized egg to day 28 after its hatching was presented at the Fisheries Research Institute press conference in Taipei Monday. Photo courtesy of Fisheries Research Institute Feb. 5, 2024
This series of images showing the growth of an artificially bred blackthroat sea perch from the fertilized egg to day 28 after its hatching was presented at the Fisheries Research Institute press conference in Taipei Monday. Photo courtesy of Fisheries Research Institute Feb. 5, 2024
Taiwan's first artificially bred blackthroat sea perch are displayed at a press conference held in Taipei by the Fisheries Research Institute on Monday. CNA photo Feb. 5, 2024
Taiwan's first artificially bred blackthroat sea perch are displayed at a press conference held in Taipei by the Fisheries Research Institute on Monday. CNA photo Feb. 5, 2024
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