By Development Communication Section / ET Quinitio
The problem of the lack of crablets for farming is being addressed by the National Mud Crab Science and Technology Program, which is being funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCAARRD-DOST), through the construction of prototype hatcheries to produce crablets in areas where there are no reliable source of wild seedstock like the province of Bohol. There are 14 projects under this Program and one project is the ‘Pilot Demonstration of a Commercial-Scale Model Mud Crab Hatchery in Bohol’ headed by SEAFDEC/AQD scientist Dr. Emilia Qunitio. A former staff of SEAFDEC/AQD, Engr. Reynaldo Tenedero, helped in the design and managed the construction of the hatchery that was started in February 2014 and completed in June 2014. The hatchery is designed not only for the production of crablets of mud crab but for juveniles of other aquaculture commodities as well. The total capacity of the hatchery is 151 tons (21 tons in the form of fiberglass tanks & 5 tons in concrete tanks for larval rearing, 5 tons of concrete tanks for broodstock, 100 tons of canvas tanks for natural food production and 20 tons canvas tanks for the nursery phase). It is capable of producing up to 40,000 crab instar 1 per run. The hatchery operation started last year and two batches of crablets were already produced. The hatchery can supply crablets for farms in Bohol as well as in the nearby provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental and Leyte. The success that will be demonstrated in this hatchery will hopefully inspire other municipalities to duplicate this project.
This is the first mud crab hatchery constructed under the funding of PCAARRD-DOST that is being turned over to a local government unit, and on this occasion, to the Municipality of Guindulman. The ceremony, held on May 28, 2015, was attended by Dr. Fe Piezas, mayor of Guindulman; provincial, municipal and barangay officials and staff; and by Engr. Maria Teresa de Guzman, Deputy Executive Director and Dr. Adelaida Calpe, Mud Crab ISP manager of PCAARRD-DOST. SEAFDEC/AQD was represented by, its Chief, Dr. Felix Ayson, who gave one of the messages; Dr. Emilia T. Quinitio, who gave the background of the project; Dr. Fe P. Estepa, the head of the Technology Verification and Demonstration Division; and Ms. Charmi Fernandez, head of PMG Internal Audit Unit of AQD.