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Mariculture
« on: July 10, 2007, 01:42:46 AM »
By Joe Espiritu
Bohol Sunday Post

The Regional Development council of Region VII urged Local government Units with municipal waters to go into mariculture instead of fish capture. This would insure steady income of fishermen. However, only those with protected waters would be able to embark on such projects.

What would be open to them are: mudcrab or alimango raising, lobster or banagan culture, saganid or danggit culture, grouper or black lapulapu culture, oyster or sisi raising and abalone or lapas culture. Since they need waters that are protected from storms, most of those projects are not possible in Jagna except oyster and abalone farming. However they will need further research so that they may be viable.

Abalones or lapas exists in its wild state in some Jagna waters. There could be no reason why they cannot be cultivated. However, the abalone cannot be easily distinguished because their mantle totally covers the shell. Their coloring blend with the surroundings that is would be very hard to detect their presence. Only those who know how to look for them may find them.

The abalone is self-supporting. When penned, they will graze on fine marine vegetable matter. There is no need of feeding them. What is needed is the stock. However, they abound in numbers in Balbagon. Mambajao. Immature abalones are found in the rocks of inshore Balbagon. They can be transported here to be raised. Chinese abalones command premium prices in high-class restaurants. When dried the dollar value is high.

There is a type of oyster or sisi that will thrive in salt water. While Pangasinan or Cavite oysters need salinity of 15 to 26 parts per thousand of salt in water, this oyster can tolerate pure seawater. It grows wild in submerged pier posts and it may thrive elsewhere in Jagna if cultured. This grows a large as the palm of the hand. The flesh is liked that of other oysters except it is a little bit saltier that most. Despite that it does not mar it fine and delicate flavor.

What are needed are pilot projects to prove that abalone and oyster farming is possible here. Since they exist in wild state, they can be easily cultured. But it needs a little research so they can be raised efficiently. For abalone farming, a portion of the municipal waters in Canupao could be fenced. Wild abalones are to be located and transferred into the enclosure. They are left there until they grow into marketable size, some 6 to 15 centimeters. Growing period could reach a year. If step growing is resorted to, it will give fishermen steady income.

Some of the wild oysters in the pier could be harvested, the empty shells are to be strung among the mature ones so the spats or juvenile oyster, which look like buttons will grow on them. Once the empty shell is filled with the young, they may be transferred to the oyster farm. They may be grown and harvested during the “r” months. Since like the abalone, oysters are also self-supporting, they would not need feeding, thus lessening their upkeep.

What are needed are pilot projects to prove that such ventures are viable. Once they can be proven of commercial value, there would be another source of income for fishermen. However, fishermen are the laziest persons on Jagna. They rely on capture instead of raising them. In capture, they do not invest on anything except fishing gear. They do not invest effort except for fishing expeditions. That is why few Jagna fishermen ever achieve upwards mobility.

However, if those projects may prove lucrative, there might be some enterprising fisherfolks that may venture in it. Just like the calamay. When calamay became a provincial or international delicacy, everyone wants to be in calamay. Sea ranching might succeed.

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