Fishery researchers in Thailand plan to adopt an RFID-enabled system to track the broodstock – the fish kept isolated for breeding purposes – of several fish species key to the country’s export business. With the system, researchers can track the development of the broodstock and supervise crossbreeding programs to improve the species.
Researchers at the Department of Fisheries Science at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Lad-krabang are embedding RFID chips in three aquatic species, the Giant Prawn, Nile Tilapia and Walking Catfish. The three species are crucial to Thailand’s economy, with an export value of about 2 billion bahts a year.
Since last year, the team has embedded RFID chips into more than a thousand of the three aquatic species. Researchers are working to determine the least disruptive way to insert the tags into the tiny juvenile creatures. To keep the system simple, the tags will only include a serial number to identify the individual. Other information, such as the animal’s breed, its growth and diet, will be maintained in a database.
“We will track an animal’s growth on a monthly basis, to monitor its overall development. The software will help us analyze the data. If we find that the animal is not growing well, we will implement cross breeding to improve the species,” said project leader Rungtawan Panakulchaiwit.
The project has received funding from the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre, as well as support from two private RFID companies, Silicon Craft Technology and IE Technology. After the pilot program is completed, the research center plans to promote the technology to private aquatic-animal farms across the country to help improve their farm management.