Misamis Occidental gears up for mariculture after grouper spawning
Cagayan de Oro City (29 October) -- Grouper broodstock in the Misamis Occidental successfully spawned after two months of conditioning, jumpstarting the development of the mariculture industry in the province.
The broodstock were conditioned for two (2) months in a hatchery at the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP) before finally producing 15 million eggs last August and another 22 million eggs in September.
With the volume of eggs, MOAP hatchery manager Tito Piloton says they are already having trouble finding space for all the grouper larvae produced from the spawned eggs.
The 8.8-million hatchery features two 160-ton broodstock tanks, eight 15-ton larval tanks, twelve 15-ton natural food tanks, a 135-ton reservoir, and a generator.
It was completed December last year through the collaboration of the Australian government through the Philippine-Australia Local Sustainability (PALS) Program, the Misamis Occidental Provincial Government, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC).
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo explained that the spawning is a very good development for Misamis Occidental because "grouper broodstock spawn year-round" providing a stable and accessible supply of grouper seed which will be needed by fish cage farmers.
SEAFDEC has been optimizing the breeding and hatchery of grouper since 1989 and is now providing the technical support, technology, and supervision for the MOAP hatchery.
With the projected growth in hatchery production, MOAP manager Manoling Yap hopes to construct additional larval rearing tanks for the hatchery, a feed mill, and eventually also set up mariculture cages in Panguil Bay.
Misamis Occidental Governor Loreto Leo Ocampos is pushing for the farming of grouper in floating sea cages.
To date, a corporation, owned by 4 multi-purpose cooperatives and an NGO, has set up 32 nursery cages and 16 grow-out cages off the town of Sinacaban.
Grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) is locally known as lapu-lapu or pogapo (in Misamis Occidental), which is a highly valued marine fish with great demands both in the local and international markets.
Aside from grouper, the MOAP hatchery is also projected to produce milkfish, tilapia, catfish, mud crabs, and seaweed. The seed will then be used to supply fishponds and fish cages in Panguil Bay, Murcilleagus Bay, and coastal coves around the province.
The MOAP project aims to create direct and indirect employment for coastal fish farmers, promote aquaculture; and help the province become a major provider of agri-aqua products in Northern Mindanao through equitable coastal resources management and sustainable aquaculture development. (SEAFDEC) [top]