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Ade Sunarma*, Kesit Tisnawibowo, Abduh Nurhidajat, Sarifin
 Main Center for Freshwater Aquaculture Development,
 Jl. Selabintana 37 Sukabumi 43114 Indonesia email:

As an introduced species in Indonesia aquaculture, African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) has been cultured widespread along the country.  After introduced in 1985-1986, fish farmer replaced local catfish (Clarias batrachus) and began to more seriously effort to use a special hatchery and pond for African catfish.  However, since 2000s, along with the increasing of fish farmer skill and culture technique availability, African catfish nursery and grow out mostly used outdoor pond-based plastic.  These changes impacted on remarkably increased of African catfish production, from 91mt in 2007 to 337mt in 2011 or 40 pct./yr.
Fish farmer more preferable to culture of African catfish in outdoor pond-based plastic correlated to several comparative advantage, such as:
-      Using outdoor plastic-based pond, African catfish could be cultured utilize limited land and water resources. Nursery pond just 12-20 m2/pond (50 cm in water depth) and grow out pond 20-40 m2/pond (70-100 cm in depth). No or limited water replaced along rearing period.
-      There were no hatchery building or water treatment needed. So, investment cost were very cheap, i.e. about USD 30-40 and USD 50-70 for nursery pond and grow out pond construction, respectively.
-      Easy cultivate technology for fish farmer. African catfish spawned naturally instead artificially and reared in stagnant water instead recirculation system or flow-through.
-      Culture period were very short. In nursery stage, fish farmer can sell juvenile fish (8-9 cm in length) after 3 months. In grow out, consumable fish can be reached after 3 months.
-      Productivity in nursery and grow out can be reached 37.5 million juvenile/ha/year and 1600 ton/ha/year, respectively.
-      African catfish delivered mostly as fresh product and relatively small fish to the market. In Jakarta, the capital city, filled at least 170 ton/day of African catfish 8-10 fish/kg in size as consumable fish.
This success story is the best example of aquaculture development in Indonesia, at least by two reasons, i.e. based on small scale fish farmer instead private company and shorter period from adoption to mass application of fish culture technique than other fish cultured.  Then, this successful also showed a different culture system of African catfish compare to available published technique (e.g. de Graaf & Janssen, 1996; Potongkam & Miller, 2006; Fleuren, 2008; Isyagi, et al., 2009).
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