National Cheng Kung University signed a deal with a Middle East-based firm yesterday to improve aquacultural quality in the Red Sea by using an oral vaccine for fish developed at the school.
University chancellor Michael Lai (
Lead researcher Yang Huey-lang (
Yang said antibiotics used to be injected directly into fish to deter disease, but such methodswere costly and time consuming.
To boost efficiency, his team developed a new vaccine delivery system that implants the vaccine in the biotic feedstuff fed to the brine shrimp eaten by the fish.
The new vaccine delivery system is very efficient because it can vaccinate a large mass of fish in less than 20 minutes, he said.
It has been successful on more than 60,000 groupers and cobia in the past three years, he said.
Yang said he hopes to develop more vaccines to fight against other fish diseases.
James Greenberg, the director of the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia-based venture-development firm DevCorp, said the vaccine was the "savior" of the aquacultural industry because people no longer want antibiotic-laced fish on their dinner tables.
He said Taiwan has one of the best aquaculture technology bases in the world, but volatile weather, industrial pollution and the lack of usable coast line has hampered the expansion of the Taiwanese aquacultural industry.
Saudi Arabia's Red Sea is a prime location for fish farms because of its pristine water, calm weather, and low-cost land, he said. Moreover, the bacteria count in the Red Sea is 100 times less than Taiwanese waters, he said.
Yang said his team is collaborating with a local firm to export the oral vaccines and the vaccinated fish larvae to Saudi Arabia.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
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