Saturday, November 25, 2006

Samal’s Mariculture Park attracts P200 million worth of investments

No less than P200 million worth of investments have been poured into the 244-hectare Mariculture Park located in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte.

The Mariculture Park, which is a joint venture of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources XI and the local government unit of Samal, was implemented to offer locators a chance to invest in the fish caging venture as well as provide an alternative source of livelihood for Samal fishermen.

“This is the first Triple A Mariculture Park in Asia and it is being replicated in others parts of the country particularly in Calbayog, Samar, Zambales and in Datu Paglas,” IGACOS city administrator Cleto Gales said.

A total of 10 large scale investors and an estimated 100 small and medium investors have already located their fish cage businesses at the Mariculture Park. Large scale investors are those with investments of over P10 million, medium scale with investments of one to P10 million and small scale with investments below one million.

“A single fish cage is capital intensive with a 20 meter by 20 meter fish cage amounting to almost a million peso worth of investments,” Gales said. However, an investor can have a return of his investment after two harvests with a single harvest possible after three to four months.

Gales said the fish cages at the Mariculture Park is quite different from the common fishpond because fishponds are dug beside shorelines to allow partly salty water to come in and mix with fresh water to create brackish water.

The fish cages in the Park, he said, are cages that are floating in the sea. It is also different from Laguna de Bay’s fish pens since they cage the water there from surface to the bottom.

“The fish cages in Samal’s Mariculture Park are environmentally friendly because it is floating,” he said. The excess feeds that are not eaten by the fish inside the cages are eaten by other fishes like Talakitok, thereby encouraging small and large fish to congregate in the area, Gales added.

A single 20 meter by 20 meter fish cage yields twenty seven tons of fish per season or roughly 27 thousand kilos of fish every harvest.(lovely a. carillo)

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