THE Department of Science and Technology (DoST) and the University of the Philippines (UP) are seeking to develop the mussel farming industry using geolocation technology.
In a statement by Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DoST-PCAARRD), its Industry Strategic Science and Technology program hopes to use geographic information system (GIS)-based mapping to identify suitable sites for mussel culture.
“The advent of recent geospatial technologies such as GIS and remote sensing can provide quick and reliable information that can be displayed visually for better management of aquaculture areas,” DoST- PCAARRD said.
“It can also identify sites where both hydrographic and biophysical conditions favor mussel growth.”
The development of the mussel farming industry can aid the government’s goal of ensuring food security.
Mapping systems can be used by farmers, government agencies, academics and private individuals seeking to invest in mussel culture, the agency said.
According to DoST-PCAARRD, mapping systems can determine salinity, temperatures and chlorophyll content in any given area, with the data to be made available monthly in a web-based interactive map.
The project was initiated by University of the Philippines-Visayas (UPV) Institute of Aquaculture professor Carlos C. Baylon, UPV Institute of Aquaculture instructor Armi May T. Guzman, and UP Diliman Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology College of Science Program Leader Gay Jane P. Perez.
Earlier this year, DoST-PCAARRD identified 14 sites where mussel culture can be developed.
The Philippine Statistics Authority estimates that mussel production in the first quarter of 2018 rose 54.18% year on year to 9,200 metric tons due to the opening of new culture sites and resumption of harvesting activities at other locations.
Other regions, such as Western Visayas and, the Bicol region, posted declines due to low demand and siltation. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato