Blue crab and abalone farming require low-cost inputs. (Photo: SEAFDEC/AQD)
Govt boosts blue crab, abalone production
Friday, February 26, 2010, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is boosting the production of blue crabs and abalone to commercial quantities to export them this year. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has thus set up a seaweed farm in the mariculture park of Basey in Samar to pilot-test the scheme. To aid with the new project, BFAR has established place tanks to raise abalone juveniles that can hold 40,000-50,000 of them.
“The expansion of hatcheries for abalone and blue crab will pave the way for the commercial production of these two marine products, which are of high value but require low-cost inputs,” BFAR Assistant Director Gil Adora stated in a report to Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.
Farmed blue crabs take four months in a pond before they reach a marketable size and feed on small plants and fish, while and abalone takes eight months to raise and feeds on a species of red algae that can be easily raised in a farm, Manila Bulletin reports.
BFAR is also collaborating with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) and NGOs in Northern Samar to aid small mudcrab catchers in improving their livelihood and guarantee this fishery’s sustainability in four of the province’s municipalities. BFAR and the SEAFDEC-Aquaculture Department (AQD) has been aiding these catchers in implementing mudcrab production technologies developed from studies paid for by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
As well, in partnership with SEAFDEC-AQD and the National Irrigation Administration, BFAR is conducting a freshwater aquaculture production programme in Capiz to help improve the living conditions of marginal farmers in the municipality of Dumarao, benefited by the Badbaran community irrigation scheme.
SEAFDEC-AQD also provided technical assistance in enhancing the production of the province’s aquamarine park multi-species hatchery in Misamis Occidental by sharing its technologies developed on the hatchery and through the grow-out of grouper, or lapu-lapu, with BFAR monitoring the project’s implementation.
Also increasing tilapia production is DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) project in Laurel, Batangas where the Land Bank granted PHP500,000- (USD 10,772) loan for 30 fisher beneficiaries. The tilapia project is covered by the Fisheries Financing Programme, a joint undertaking of ACPC, BFAR and Land Bank.
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By Natalia Real