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Novel aquaculture project to spur growth in Tawi-Tawi

PHILIPPINES - A P21M hatchery project designed to boost Tawi-Tawis participation in lucrative foreign markets and paving its way to carve a niche in the $8 billion-dollar aquaculture trade will soon be completed this month.

Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul Sahali, believe that the hatchery will provide a major boost to the provincial economy which currently depends on the production of marginal seaweed farmers and fisher folk. The hatchery is estimated to generate around P86 million in revenues from its grow-out operations and, once fully operational, will create at least 1,000 jobs for local residents.

Tawi-Tawi was chosen as the pilot site for the pioneering hatchery project due to its natural endowments such as uncontaminated water with high salinity levels, the availability of a wide variety of parent stock in the area, and climatic conditions ideal for year-round aquaculture production, the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program disclosed.

The comparatively low aquaculture operating cost in Tawi-Tawi and its proximity to target markets such as China and Hongkong, which have high-demand for high-value aquaculture products such as humpback grouper, tiger grouper, blue crab, sea cucumber and abalone is its major logistical advantage of the hatchery.

The multi-species hatchery’s operation will initially focus on the production of grouper fingerlings and abalone spats, which will be supplied to experienced aquaculture growers who have been trained under USAID’s Targeted Commodity Expansion Program (TCEP). These TCEP graduates are former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatants, are producing high value aquaculture products, including humpback grouper and abalone for export

The hatchery will also help ensure the sustainability of the province’s marine resources by providing aquaculture producers in the area with a regular supply of hatchery-bred fingerlings for grow-out operations. Local growers need no longer source juvenile fish from the wild. The pressure on the area’s coastal fisheries resources, which have been experiencing a decline in the fish stocks over the years, will be reduced, giving the natural resources time to replenish themselves.

Source: PIA

the Fish Site Editor

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