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Capiz eyes 5,000 jobs in aquaculture industry

PHILIPPINES - The provincial government of Capiz hopes to generate 5,000 additional jobs for Capiceos through the revival of the local prawn industry, which has suffered a big blow from recurring outbreaks of diseases that have inflicted millions of pesos worth of production losses on prawn farms over the last decade or so.

Capiz eyes 5,000 jobs in aquaculture industry - PHILIPPINES - The provincial government of Capiz hopes to generate 5,000 additional jobs for Capiceos through the revival of the local prawn industry, which has suffered a big blow from recurring outbreaks of diseases that have inflicted millions of pesos worth of production losses on prawn farms over the last decade or so.

Gov. Vicente Bermejo said the province has established an agri-aqua laboratory with a total cost of P3.3 million and is capable of monitoring Red Tide and detecting the white spot virus and luminous bacteria in prawns.

The Capiz prawn industry, which became a source of livelihood for thousands of Capiceos, was enjoying one of its heydays from the late 1980s until the early 1990s, sending out of the country exports valued at millions of pesos when so-called mysterious prawn diseases struck prawn farms and adversely the export quality of local aqua-marine products. The industry employed hundreds of technicians and other workers.

Since then, local governments here initiated various steps to address the problem in coordination with prawn growers and concerned national government agencies to save what was considered then as a sunshine industry.

The province has about 18,000 hectares of brackishwater areas devoted to prawn and bangus culture.

Fully aware of the potentials of the sector, Bermejo said the provincial government put up the laboratory at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist to serve the needs of local prawn growers. Municipal governments in coastal areas have been informed about the facility so that they could relay the same to prawn growers in their areas.

Bermejo said they have supplemented this project with the establishment of prawn demonstration farms and research and development initiatives which were funded to the tune of P2.2 million. The province also organized an association of prawn growers and fishpond operators called Capiz Halaran Agri-Aqua Multi-Purpose Cooperative to draw the active participation of the private sector in the development of the industry.

The province has targeted to develop some 1,000 hectares for prawn monoculture over the next five years. The initiative is expected to redound to the benefit of Capiceos in the form of job more opportunities.

The initiative is part of the total program of the province to develop the agri-fisheries sector which constitutes the backbone of the local economy.

Source: Philippine Information Agency - 18th August 2005

the Fish Site Editor

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