DoST touts new areas for mussel-farming expansion

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THE GOVERNMENT has identified 12 areas, mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao, deemed suitable for the development of a mussel farming industry.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST-PCAARRD) said the identified areas cover 6,283.30 hectares (ha).

The inventory of suitable growing areas arose from a joint project with the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas and Mindanao.

The biggest area is 1,390 ha in Sagay, Negros Occidental, followed by 1,300 ha in Bais, Negros Oriental and 1,098 ha in Marinduque.

Other potential locations are Hagnaya, Cebu; Calape, Bohol; Murcielagos and Panguil Bay in Misamis Occidental; Placer, Surigao del Norte; Buguey, Cagayan; Mati and Panabo in the Davao region; and Bislig, Surigao del Sur.

Mussel culture and production accounts for less than 1% of marine products output. The agency said the industry is also hindered by poor transportation links, which lowers the mussel survival rate.

In another collaboration with UP Visayas, DoST-PCAARRD said it developed a more efficient transport system for mussel spats — very young shellfish for seeding farms participating in the Mussel Science and Technology Program.

“Expansion and improvement in mussel culture require more spats to be transported from the nursery to the different mussel grow-out farms in the country. The spats have to be delivered to the mussel growers in the best possible condition for growing,” it said. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato