Another local businessman has joined the CNMI's aquatic farming landscape with the help of aquaculture officials at the Northern Marianas College.
James Matsumoto, a resident of Capitol Hill, recently released over 800 juvenile pearl white tilapia into two tanks set up at his residence. Matsumoto now joins the fourteen other aquatic farmers in the CNMI.
Matsumoto first developed an interest in the aquaculture industry when he toured the NMC Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service's (CREES) Wet Lab at the College's As Terlaje campus earlier this year. He then contacted CREES aquaculture extension agent Michael Ogo, who outlined the proper preparations necessary for an efficient aquatic farm. Among Ogo's suggestions were the needed equipment and materials essential to the aeration, filtration, and water circulation of the tank.
Staff members from NMC CREES staff then visited Matsumoto's residence to determine an appropriate spot for his tanks, which consists of two four foot deep round swimming pools with a 15 foot diameter. Matsumoto purchased the pools on Guam and had them shipped to Saipan.
CRESS staff were also on site to monitor the installation of the tanks and the assembly and installation of the water quality management equipment.
"Mr. Matsumoto's project is another great example of how the College is helping residents explore new sources of nutrition and revenue and how the College is working hard to ensure that aquaculture becomes a major contributor to the economy," said NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez.
The College's Aquaculture & Fisheries Department continues to assist Matsumoto and its other aquaculture clients by providing technical assistance on feeds and feeding, water quality management, and production unit maintenance.
"I encourage other individuals in the community to take advantage of the expertise and the services provided by the College," added President Fernandez.
NMC’s Aquaculture & Fisheries Department is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Smith-Lever Act and Hatch Act Formula Funds.