By Sarwell Meniano
The Philippine (PNA).- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will bring the lucrative lobster culture to poor communities in Eastern Visayas with the setting up of 250 cages this year.
Lobster aquaculture will be established in Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, and Northern Samar, said BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo.
“This is inclusive growth since the target of this program are poor fishermen. A fisherman can earn up to PHP150,000 a year from lobster culture, above than the requirement to graduate from poverty,” Albaladejo said.
Lobster culture is very ideal, according to BFAR, considering its relatively high price (PHP4,000 per kilogram). The marine product grows at 1 kilogram within 20 months. There is a strong demand from China and Taiwan, with high preference for live lobsters.
The program will provide cages and feeds to beneficiaries. A fishermen can raise up to 100 lobster juveniles in a cage. Feeds will be sourced out from sardine-rich areas in Northern Samar province.
The PHP10 million program will capture puerulus (post-larval stage) from the wild that are transported long distance by ocean current. It is estimated that sea current brings about six million puerulus to the country every year, looking for suitable habitat.
The initiative is in partnership with Prof. Clive Jones of James Cook University in Australia and Winrock International, specifically on feeding trials using pellet feeds at BFAR – Guiuan Marine Fisheries Development Center in Eastern Samar.
The aquaculture project will be patterned after successful lobster farming in Dinagat Island, which is also being supported by the fisheries bureau.