Business & Economy

Gov't encourages fishermen to try oyster growing

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DAGUPAN CITY– The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources encouraged fisherfolk in this city, especially the marginalized fishermen, to go into oyster growing as an alternative livelihood that can be potentially as lucrative as tending to the famous bangus (milkfish).

 

Dr. Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries and Technology Development Center (NIFTDC) under BFAR, said oyster (talaba) growing is environment- friendly, and requires minimal capital and is easy to grow with little supervision.

“ In a tropical country like ours, it only needs a while to grow oysters,” Rosario said.

Rosario also said there is market for oysters waiting to be accommodated, hence more oyster growers are needed.

To succeed, fishermen are advised to be very careful in growing oysters, making sure their harvests will be free from the bacteria e-coli that can cause diarrhea. One way to make the oysters safe is to adopt the net-bamboo process. Leaving oysters in a clean net connected to bamboos for 10 days ensures that the bacteria will disappear. Applying science to the traditional way of oyster culture will not only eliminate bacteria but will also help the river system recover and provide additional income to fishermen, Rosario said.

“The problem is, no one adopts to this scheme. I hope a policy will be enacted that prohibits the sale of oysters if it did not undergo the net-bamboo process,” he said.

Over-extraction also poses a threat to oyster production, Rosario said. Oysters, which have not yet reached maturity are immediately harvested leaving no room for growth and cycle.

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