The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Caraga Region (BFAR13) is pushing for the establishment of a sustainable and exportoriented lobster industry in the area.
BFAR13 spearheaded Monday the twoday 2nd National Lobster Development Program Workshop attended by 55 participants from the different provinces in the region to assess the current situation of the lobster industry in Caraga.
The workshop also aims to impart to the participants the various opportunities in the lobster and aquaculture industries in the country, said Salve MordenoDinolan, BFAR13 information officer.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Monday, Dinolan said most of the participants are municipal agriculture personnel in the region, local officials, and representatives from the private sector who are engaged in aquaculture and lobster farming.
Dinolan said the twoday workshop focused on challenges, new strategies, and inputs on new technologies on lobster farming and aquaculture
Among the speakers include Dr. Clive Jones, an internationallyrecognized expert on research on aquaculture development, and Joseph Martin Borromeo, BFAR's national lobster focal person who facilitated the value chain analysis workshop for the participants.
Merry Flor Lepio, a private sector representative from Surigao City, also shared with the participants her success story on lobster farming and aquaculture.
Borromeo said lobster is among the priority commodities identified by BFAR and the Department of Agriculture (DA), noting that Caraga Region is considered the source of lobster seeds and products in the eastern seaboard of the country.
Borromeo also noted trades that involved seeds and lobster products in the country, including in Mindanao, have not been prioritized in the past years.
We could not determine the exact records in the development of lobster industry primarily because most of the transactions are in the black market, which also indicates the lack of regulations into these transactions, he said.
He added that they are now waiting for the issuance of a Fisheries Administrative Order from the DA, which will involve the regulation of the trade of lobsters, including the fries or seeds in the country.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed a steady increase in aquaculture production in the country was recorded from 2016 to 2018,
Aquaculture industry achieved 2,200,913.34 metric tons (MT) production in 2016 that increased to 2,237,790.76 MT in 2017 and up to 2,304,365.31 MT in 2018.
Value in production on aquaculture was recorded at PHP91,141,919 in 2016 that increased to PHP100,706,819 in 2017 and up to PHP110,329,337 in 2018.
PSA data also indicated an increase in aquaculture production in the Caraga Region in the same period with 14,882.6MT production in 2016 that grew to 15,093.71 MT in 2017 and up to 15,023.99 MT in 2018.
Value in production on aquaculture also made upturns during the period, from PHP744,181 in 2016 to PHP882,008 in 2017 and PHP1,035,301 in 2018.
Source: Philippines News agency