A professor of Aquaculture has recommended the use of dietary medicinal plants in the culture of aquatic animals to effectively cure diseases, promote growth, reduce stress, improve immunity, and prevent infections. He said the addition of herbs and herbal products in fish diet is cheaper and environmentally friendly with low side effects to the fish and consumers and will ultimately improve fish production in Nigeria. Professor Adekunle Dada made the recommendation while delivering the 121st inaugural lecture of the Federal University of Technology Akure on the 16th of February 2021 at the Main Auditorium of the University.
Speaking on the lecture titled, Ethnobotanicals in Aquaculture: How veritable is Fish Security, Professor Dada said the intensive use of synthetic drugs presents numerous disadvantages for both the environment and health hence there is an increasing need for the development of alternative strategies in aquaculture disease management.
He pointed out that excessive use of various antibiotics, hormones and other synthetic drugs to control diseases and improve fish growth in Aquaculture is the reason behind the emergence of drug resistant bacteria and production of residual substances harmful to the environment and human Health.
The Don highlighted examples of Ethnobotanicals which are medicinal plants beneficial to aquatic animals to include moringa, red clover, garlic, cabbage, aloe vera, mango, fluted pumpkin, bitter kola, and black seed. He said findings have shown that these Ethnobotanical feed supplements promote growth, enhance reproductive performance and improve immunity in fishes that will help to produce healthy fishes and also maximize fish production for human consumption.
To this effect he said the study of Ethnobotanicals should be incorporated into the Fisheries and aquaculture curriculum programmes in higher institutions.He said fish feeds companies should collaborate with the Universities to carry out more researches into the use of Ethnobotanicals in Aquaculture production in order to increase / improve fish production.
The Chairman of the occasion and Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Joseph Fuwape, described the lecturer as an astute scholar whose contributions to the body of knowledge in his area of specialization is worthy of commendation and emulation. He advised relevant agencies in the country to consider the implementations of the suggestions highlighted in the lecture for the improvement of the fish industry and aquaculture in Nigeria.