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For the purposes of this TCP it is strongly recommended that all the laboratory and pilot scale experiments of the Project be conducted at the Centro de Preparacion Acuicola Mamposton; the centre possessing the necessary basic infrastructure and staff for the Project to realise its objectives; the latter including experienced staff specialised in all the key aspects of freshwater finfish production, including semi-intensive, intensive, and super-intensive production technology for all the major freshwater finfish species cultivated in Cuba, fish pathology and disease control, fish genetics and seed production/broodstock management, pond fertilization and water management, fish processing, and last but not least fish nutrition and feed technology.

On the basis of the extensive discussions held between the consultant, the Project NPD, and the senior management of Mamposton (Mr Raul Morales - Director, and Mr Gonzalo Diaz Perez -Sub-Director de Produccion) it is recommended that three experimental diet testing facilities be developed at the Centre for use by the Project, namely: I) Indoor tank diet testing facility (including feed preparation), II) Outdoor tank diet testing facility, and III) Outdoor pond/cage diet testing facility.

I. Indoor tank diet testing facility (including feed preparation)

It is recommended that the existing indoor tank diet testing and feed manufacturing facility at Mamposton be upgraded as shown in Figure 1. The aim of this facility would be to conduct rapid short-term laboratory-scale feeding trials with large numbers of dietary formulations with fry/fingerling-sized fish, to determine feed ingredient and formulated diet nutrient digestibility, and for the small-scale manufacture of dry and moist pelleted feeds for the project. The following modifications will be required:

Infrastructure (modifications made/supplied by the Centre)

-Roof of the facility will require minor repair for leaks and water proofing (ie. painting);
-Exterior/interior walls need to be constructed for the dry and wet diet preparation rooms, the feed storage room (sealed, but with ventilator), and the office (the latter to accommodate the NPD and at least two other staff, with space for visitors). In the case of the tank area, the exterior netting should either be repaired/strengthened or replaced with perforated ‘Celocia’ blocks;
-Water supply to the facility needs to be improved by increasing the diameter of the inlet line and also by constructing a elevated header tank (using existing tanks available at the Centre) so as to ensure continuous water supply in the event of water shortages from the inlet line and reservoir;
-Backup air supply to the facility from the nearby blower housed in the reservoir tanks
-Telephone/extension connection

Experimental rearing tanks (modifications/installations supplied by the Project)

-The existing fish rearing tanks already present within the facility should be used, but modified in the case of the 12 × 3m fibre-glass raceways by inserting partitions and individual water inlets/outlets (resulting in 84 tanks of 0.42 × 0.42 × 0.5m), and in the case of the 12 × 0.9m incubators by removing the leg supports, raising the tanks on a wooden plinth/support, and by inserting faecal collection tubes at the base of the tanks for use as digestibility measurements. It is also recommended that two larger circular settlement tanks (if made available by the Centre) be placed at the end of the experimental tank lines so as to settle/harness the faecal wastes/nutrients prior to discharge;

Equipment (purchases supplied by the Project)

-As mentioned previously, all equipment items should be stored within lockable rooms as follows: 1) dry diet preparation room for Project equipment items including the existing two hammer mills, a new Hobart H-600TB6 feed mixer/pelletizer (this model is highly recommended because of its proven durability and reliability; quotation given by Tegos in Havana on 8/5/98 as US$ 15,000, including all accessories), and new wooden drying cabinet (L × W × H: 1.2 × 0.06 × 2.0m, with 15 removable shelves/cabinet) with air blower, 2) wet diet preparation room for the existing equipment items, including a horizontal mixer, two pelletizers, coarse grinder, and slicer/cutter for the preparation of moist diets and animal feed mashes, and the preparation of fish silage by the Project; 3) storage room for feed ingredients and formulated aquafeeds, including a refrigerator, freezer, exterior ventilation fan, and shelving for the storage of ingredients/feeds within plastic sealed bins; and 4) enlarged office space for the Project staff, new computers, video camera, and electronic balances (including if available an Avery A500 electronic hanging retail scale balance, capacity 6kg × 0.1kg, including mains adapter and rechargeable batteries/battery charger, or equivalent). In addition to the above, it is recommended that a wet fish preparation area be designed at the far end of the experimental tank facility so as to facilitate fish handling and measurements, and be equipped with a worktop, double sink, and a hanging 1 × 2m white drawing board.

II. Outdoor tank diet testing facility

It is recommended that the vacant algal production plinth (22 × 7m) at Mamposton be converted into the Projects outdoor tank diet testing facility as shown in Figure 2. The aim of this facility would be to conduct outdoor medium-term tank feeding trials with fingerling to market size fish under controlled intensive/super-intensive conditions. The following construction/modifications will be required:

Infrastructure (modifications made/supplied by the Centre)

-Overhead sun shade for workers (shade cloth supplied by the Project);
-Water supply to the facility from the nearby 200-litre header tank currently serving the eel production facility Centre) so as to ensure continuous water supply to the experimental tanks
-Backup air supply to the facility from the nearby blower/header tank eel facility

Experimental rearing tanks (supplied by the Project)

-The purchase and installation (includes piping and taps) of at least 24 fibre-glass rearing tanks (measuring 0.85 × 0.85 × 0.5m, with translucent covers), with capability of increasing the number of tanks to 48 in the future if additional funds could be sourced from external sources.

III. Outdoor pond/cage diet testing facility

It is recommended that one of the Centres earthen ponds (63 × 21 × 1.5–2.0m) at Mamposton be assigned to the Project and converted into an outdoor pond/cage diet testing facility as shown in Figure 3. The aim of this facility would be to conduct longer-term pilot-scale feeding trials with large numbers of fishes from 5–10g up to market size (if so required) under pond culture conditions, including the ability to undertake both monoculture and polyculture feeding trials, under extensive, semi-intensive and to a lesser extent intensive farming conditions (the latter being subject to the availability of electricity and an air supply for aeration). The following construction/modifications will be required:

Infrastructure (modifications made/supplied by the Centre)

-Maintenance/repair (if so required) of water inlet and outlet gates
-Electricity supply for lighting and backup air supply if so required
-Use of a small boat for sampling/feeding

Experimental cages (supplied by the Project)

- The purchase and construction of 16 experimental cages (measuring 4 × 4 × 2m, and using 4–10 mm netting and wooden stakes/poles or equivalent). If sufficient funds are available the cages should also be covered by larger meshed netting to protect the cultured fish from predation by birds).

IV. Laboratory for water and proximate feed analysis

It is recommended that the project upgrade the laboratory facilities at Mamposton for water and proximate feed analysis, including the purchase of a water distillation unit, oxygen and pH probes, a muffle furnace for ash determination, electric mantles for soxhlett extraction (can also be used for crude fibre hydrolysis) and crude protein digestion, and glassware for micro-kjeldahl protein determination, soxhlett fat determination, crude fibre determination, ash determination (including crucibles), and moisture determination (including dessicators).

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