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Science and Environment

DOST, schools, local gov’t set up mangrove crab hatcheries

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) is partnering with state universities and colleges and a local government unit (LGU) to put up mangrove crab hatcheries in Aklan, Zamboanga City and in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

Under the “Promotion of Mud Crab Hatchery and Nursery Technologies in Selected Sites” project, the DOST is funding the hatcheries for mangrove crabs in Aklan State University (ASU) in New Washington, Aklan, Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) and the Tagum City government.

Also helping out is the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC/AQD), long a partner of PCAARRD in the implementation of the National Mud Crab Science and Technology Program.

The program was started by PCAARRD, AQD and the University of the Philippines-Visayas in 2012 to establish the first mangrove crab hatchery in the SEAFDEC in Iloilo in an effort to increase the availability of seedstock for mangrove crab farming and help maintain the country’s position as second largest producer of mud crab in the world.

Under the new project, PCAARRD aims to further increase the number of mangrove crab hatcheries in the country.

The ASU, ZSCMST and Tagum local government have existing mangrove crab hatcheries but these will be expanded with funding assistance from DOST and the SEAFDEC.

Under the project, ASU, ZSCMST and the Tagum LGU provided personnel who underwent training on mud crab hatchery and nursery operations. The training courses tackled mud crab hatchery, nursery and grow-out operations. 

The three collaborators also went through practical sessions on natural food culture, broodstock management, larval rearing from zoea to megalopae, nursery rearing and other activities. 

To guide the ASU staff in the hatchery, a technician was detailed for two hatchery and nursery trials. The trials recorded a survival rate at larval stage of 80-85 percent in the hatchery phase and 66-76 percent in the nursery phase. 

The crab juveniles produced from the nursery phase were stocked in the nearby grow-out ponds for culture to market size. Some of the market size females produced were used as broodstock for the hatchery. 

At ZSCMST, faculty, research staff and students of the Fisheries and Aquaculture course as well as crab traders and growers in the area were trained on natural food culture.

In ASU, an AQD technician was detailed in the college’s hatchery. 

For the Tagum LGU, a new multi-species hatchery for mud crab culture was constructed.

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PHILIPPINE COUNCIL FOR AGRICULTURE
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