Snakehead Fish Collaboration Research: Government, Industry, Academia dan Research Center

Collaborative research in snakehead fish (Channa striata) that has been initiated by PT Mega Medica Pharmaceuticals and Bioinformatics and Data Science Research Centers (BDSRC) of  Universitas Bina Nusantara (BINUS) held a meeting between four main national research parties, which involves the government from Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Mega Medica Pharmaceuticals (MMP) as the industry, academia from Bina Nusantara University (BINUS), University of South Sumatra (USU), Soedirman University (UNSOED), and Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta (UMS), as well as research center from Genetics Indonesia (GI) and Biorealm USA, has been held in Pesisir Seafood Hall, West Jakarta, on November 18, 2019. The event that promotes a theme called “Collaboration Research of Integrated Channa Striata Aquaculture 4.0” was aimed to improve albumin production from snakehead fish was attended by more than 50 interdisciplinary participants who sought to form a concrete collaboration to develop snakehead fish research in Indonesia.

As stated in the opening speech by Mr. Sutristo, the CEO of PT MMP, the scope of this collaboration research does not only cover the upstream industries such as snakehead fish farming, but also the downstream industries. Broadly speaking, the collaboration will be focus on the snakehead fish farming based on Internet of Things (IoT), the study of C. striata genetic variation to obtain superior breeds that produce high albumin content, and the preparation of clinical trial protocols that will be carried out to test the efficacy of products in improving albumin level in patients.

The General Director of Aquaculture from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Dr. Ir. Slamet Soebjakto M.Si through his written remarks also expressed his full support for this collaboration initiative. He considered this collaboration to have significant scientific value and benefits that are in line with the mission of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in developing Indonesian fisheries potency into high-value products and in accordance with the overall national programs.

In this event, the latest snakehead fish farming research was presented by Balai Penelitian dan Pengembangan Budidaya Air Tawar (BPPBAT) researcher, Adang Saputra A.Pi S.Pi, M.Si, and Balai Perikanan Budidaya Air Tawar (BPBAT) researcher, Khairul Anwar, S.Pi M.Si. The discussions were well responded by academics and aquaculture practitioners that initiated the details for future engagement. In addition, the development of clinical trial research protocol was also one of the main discussion materials with an objective to publish the research result in leading international scientific journals.

The effort to obtain high-quality snakehead fish using a bioinformatics approach was also presented by Dr. Bens Pardamean, Dr. Simon dan Stephen McGee. Dr. Bens Pardamean as the director of BINUS Bioinformatics and Data Science Research Center, utters that the data that is recorded from farmed snakehead fish will be processed using Artificial Intelligence that will form a model to determine high-quality snakehead fish through photos. Dr. Simon as the director of Genetics Indonesia gives full support to take DNA samples from wild snakehead fish and farmed snakehead fish. Stephen McGee, M.S. as Bioinformatics Specialist from BioRealm, a bioinformatics company from South Carolina, USA, explains the research of snakehead fish genotyping that has been conducted and can be a guide to the next research.

The results of the event are expected to help each party to see where their respective positions are in this large project. This will also be very helpful in order to avoid overlapping research among snakehead fish researchers. In addition, it is hoped that all participated parties can be involved and made some significant contributions to produce concrete results that benefit not only all parties involved in this collaboration, but also the public as the end-user of the products.