Aquaculture for all

US Delegation Visits Panabo Mariculture Park

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PHILIPPINES - Some 14 investors from the US and China visited the 60-hectare, Panabo City Mariculture Park at the end of October to personally observe its operation.

The Panabo City Mariculture Park, which has been identified as one of the most developed in the country, produces class-A quality milkfish (bangus). Aside from milkfish, the mariculture park grows siganid (danggit), groupers (lapu-lapu), saline tilapia, sea bass, snappers, and abalones as secondary produce.

BFAR-Southern Mindanao Director, George Campeon, BFAR-RFTC Director Andrew Ventura, including personnels from BFAR-RFTC and Panabo City Agriculture Office were present during the visit to assist the delegates.

"We want to promote mariculture as a major livelihood in the area," Mr Campeon said, adding that compared to fishing, mariculture is like planting fishes and sowing them, a more stable source of income for the fisherfolk.

According to Mr Campeon, the investors are eyeing for possible import of milkfish products to their country. They are also looking for ways for their agriculture products to be exported in the country, like fish feeds for the mariculture park.

"We have strong bond of friendship (the Philippines and the US), we should also have strong economic and investment bond," said the US-Department of Agriculture Deputy Administrator, Patricia Sheikh, in her message during the fellowship lunch held at the Panabo City Hall with the City Officials. She added, "That is why we are here to further our comprehensive relationship with our Phillipino Government Officials and Phillipino private industry officials."

"The investors revealed to me that our Mariculture Park is a good project because our product is marketable not only locally, but even in the US," Panabo City Mayor, Jose L. Silvosa, Sr., in an interview said. "They advised us to push through with the plan of putting up a cold-storage in Panabo, they are looking for frozen bangus."

According to Mayor Silvosa, they are interested in sharing their agriculture and mariculture technology to Panabo City maybe not for free, but they are offering possible business ventures.

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