What started off as a daring venture many years ago to try and earn a decent income for her family has turned into an inspiration for Tilapia farmers across the Fiji Islands. Mrs Katarina Baleisuva, who operates Kaybee’s farm on the outskirts of the Capital Suva, is the first Tilapia farmer in the country who is now able to produce and supply only male cultured fingerlings to the commercial and semi-commercial tilapia farmers in Fiji.
Just two years ago, Mrs Baleisuva was one of five people selected and sent for specialized tilapia culture training in Thailand through support from the Pacific Community. Mrs Baleisuva explains “Male culturing is where you are able to produce only male fingerlings and this is done as the male tilapia grows at a faster rate and grows bigger than the females. It took several months of fine-tuning and experimenting with different feeds for the fish and through technical assistance from SPC, I can say now it is working very well.”
“Twenty years ago when I first started my small scale tilapia farm, I never thought that I would eventually achieve this milestone. Being able to put into practice what I learned, coupled with lots of hard work and personal sacrifices, I am happy to now be able to supply fingerlings on a regular basis and the farmers will not have to be solely dependent on the Fisheries Ministry.”