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Shellfish, sea cucumber, abalone, scallops, seaweed, grouper and sea urchin are among the species targeted for aquaculture by BFAR. (Photo: BFAR)

Lucrative species targeted for aquaculture

Click on the flag for more information about Philippines PHILIPPINES
Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 15:20 (GMT + 9)

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is now targeting the social and financial potential of high-value species through aquaculture. The species include shellfish, crab, sea cucumber, abalone, scallops, seaweed, groupers (lapu-lapu) and a backyard culture of sea urchin.

BFAR Director Malcom Sarmiento said the bureau has devised a master plan involving continuing construction of hatcheries for high-value marine species, plus improvements on existing private hatcheries for its broodstock. Focus will also be applied to aquaculture propagation by fishing breeders from the wild using eco-friendly methods.

The plan also includes developing mariculture park networks, which have been unveiled in Tawi-Tawi and nearby islands of Sibutu and Sitangkai, to endorse the spread of high-value fish -- especially groupers (lapu-lapu), sea urchin and abalone, reports The Philippine Star.

“These projects will create more livelihood opportunities and increase the fishermen’s income. BFAR envisions these mariculture parks as networks serving as trade posts for high-value fisheries, which will use enable vessels with ‘live wells’ to ply nautical highways to pick up live fish and route to local and international markets,” Malcom noted.

Seminars, live fish displays and other interactive activities will be organised BFAR at AgriLink 2010, which is also receiving support from 20 other major Philippino trade associations.

The event will take place on 7-9 October at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City. Its theme, “Good Agricultural Practices: Key to Competitiveness,” will convene domestic and international suppliers and exhibitors to underscore the newest technological developments and inputs that will bolster efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability of the food, agriculture and aquaculture industries.

BFAR’s burgeoning commitment to promoting fish production has been prompted by a gradually escalating demand for fish and aquaculture products in the local and international markets, including the US, Japan and the European Union (EU), Manila Bulletin reports.

The bureau’s latest projects highlight aquaculture practices that tackle quality and safety challenges in fisheries products, climate change and globalization, accepting international market standards and efforts to boost the general sustainability and productivity of aquaculture communities.

The government is contributing by helping fishers living near mariculture parks own fish cages through a financing scheme, the Department of Agriculture and BFAR informed.

BFAR said it is currently setting up techno-demo fish cages in 54 mariculture parks across the country. The agency aims to identify 10 cooperators in each park.

“We hope these techno-demo fish cages will encourage other households to put up their own. For those who will decide to have their own fish cage, the Land Bank of the Philippines will be willing to lend them the capital,” said Sarmiento.

Related article:

- Fisheries production to jump by 8 pct

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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