Cur­rents

Agriculture - - Contents - >BY DR. RAFAEL D. GUER­RERO III

FROM THE 7TH FISH­ERIES Science Con­fer­ence re­cently held by the Bu­reau of Fish­eries and Aquatic Re­sources (BFAR) and the Na­tional Fish­eries Re­search and De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute (NFRDI) at Ta­gay­tay City, we gath­ered in­ter­est­ing re­search in­for­ma­tion. The NFRDI, based in Que­zon City, is the re­search and de­vel­op­ment arm of the BFAR con­duct­ing stud­ies for the “man­age­ment, con­ser­va­tion and pro­tec­tion of the coun­try’s fish­eries and aquatic re­sources.” Re­searchers of the NFRDI are de­ployed in its three cen­ters, namely the Na­tional Fresh­wa­ter Fish­eries Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter (NFFRDC) in Bu­tong, Taal, Batan­gas, the Na­tional Marine Fish­eries Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter in Guiuan, East­ern Samar, and the Na­tional Brack­ish­wa­ter Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter in Lala, Lanao del Norte.

Fred­er­ick Muyot of the NFFRDC re­ported on the so­cioe­co­nomics of cage aqua­cul­ture in Taal Lake, Batan­gas. His sur­vey re­vealed that the more than 5,000 float­ing cages in the lake pro­duced 4-5 tons of fish (mostly Nile tilapia) per cage per cy­cle for a to­tal of 30,877 met­ric tons val­ued at over R3.7 bil­lion. The re­sults also showed that cage cul­ture op­er­at­ing costs rang­ing from R25,000 – R500,000 and a net in­come rang­ing from R20,000 – R100,000 per op­er­a­tor.

Re­searcher Maria Theresa Salamida and her co-work­ers at the NMFRDC stud­ied the bi­ol­ogy and ecol­ogy of the Asian moon scal­lop (Amu­sium pleu­ronectes), lo­cally known as “ti­pay,” in the coastal wa­ters of Samar and Leyte in the East­ern Visayas. They found the bi­valve present in the sandy-muddy bot­toms of bays and straits at depths of 6-21 me­ters. The species is a her­maph­ro­dite (hav­ing both sex or­gans) with a shell height of 55-70 mil­lime­ters when har­vested by divers. It is sold in Manila mar­kets at R150R200 per kilo.

Aniceto Labastida and co-re­searchers of the NBFRDC de­ter­mined the abun­dance of the “ag­i­his” ( Do­max sp.), a small bi­valve used as a nat­u­ral feed for cul­tured shrimp and crabs, in Pan­guil Bay. They found the species to have a den­sity of 42,571 per square me­ter at the sea bot­tom. Ma­ture clams were abun­dant in the months of May to Au­gust and De­cem­ber to Fe­bru­ary. With its pop­u­la­tions de­clin­ing due to over­fish­ing, the re­searchers rec­om­mended con­ser­va­tion mea­sures.

Aside from the stud­ies of the NFRDI re­searchers, we also ob­tained fish­eries in­for­ma­tion from the re­search con­ducted by work­ers in other in­sti­tu­tions.

From the Mar­i­ano Mar­cos State Univer­sity in Cur­ri­mao, Ilo­cos Norte, Michelle De Vera and M.G. Ramos dis­cov­ered that the baker’s yeast ( Sac­cha­rmyces cere­visae) was an ef­fec­tive im­munos­tim­u­lant for sea bass fin­ger­lings ( Lates cal­car­ifer) against the path­o­genic bac­terium Aeromonas salmoni­cida. By sup­ple­ment­ing the diet of the fish with 30 and 40 grams of baker’s yeast per kilo of the feed, the mor­tal­ity rate of the fish was re­duced to 8.33%, com­pared to 100% mor­tal­ity with­out baker’s yeast.

Re­searchers of the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines Visayas’ In­sti­tute of Fish Pro­cess­ing Tech­nol­ogy in Mi­a­gao, Iloilo, led by Karmelie Jane Manaya, showed that the residue re­main­ing af­ter the pro­duc­tion of oys­ter sauce was rich in nu­tri­tious com­pounds such as pro­tein and lipids, and an­tiox­i­dants that have free rad­i­cal scaveng­ing ac­tiv­ity. The ex­tract can be dried in pow­der form and used as a food or feed sup­ple­ment.

Did you know that there is a new mus­sel (“tahong”) species in the coun­try? It is the blue or charru mus­sel, Mytella char­ru­ana, ac­cord­ing to Michael Price and co-au­thors. The mol­lusk was first found in the coun­try in 2015 in Dagu­pan City and was first re­ported by Dr. Wes­ley Rosario of the BFAR. It is be­lieved to have been in­tro­duced in Manila Bay through the bal­last wa­ter of ships com­ing from the West­ern Pa­cific Coast of South Amer­ica where it is nat­u­rally found. Com­pared to the green mus­sel ( Mytilus smaragdi­nus) al­ready being cul­tured in the coun­try, the re­searchers believe that the new species has cul­ture po­ten­tial for grow­ing at salin­ity lev­els be­low 35 parts per thou­sand which the green mus­sel can­not tol­er­ate.

NFRDI per­son­nel an­swer queries on re­search and de­vel­op­ment on the coun­try’s fish­eries and aquatic re­sources sec­tor from con­fer­ence vis­i­tors at the 7th Fish­eries Science Con­fer­ence in Ta­gay­tay City.

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