Dagupan eyed to supply red tide-free mussel seeds to nation

June 10, 2015 5:41 am 

DAGUPAN CITY, June 9 — Being red-tide free, Dagupan is being eyed as source of mussel seeds that can supply other parts of the country to stimulate mussel raising.

As a matter of fact, the National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Development Center (NIFTDC) sees Dagupan as a possible supplier of red tide-free mussel seeds for distribution to different coastal areas of the country that would want to embark on mussel culture.

This was bared by Dr. Westly Rosario, NIFTDC chief, who said Dagupan remains only the few remaining areas in Pangasinan that is considered red tide-free from where mussels are now being produced in still limited quantities.

"I was surprised to see some fish farmers now harvesting mussels but sadly the technology they are using still remains outdated if not primitive," said Rosario, who was tapped to spearhead a National Shellfish Production Program by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The two species of mussels being raised in Dagupan are the brown mussels which can be good feeding materials for poultry and hogs, and the green-lip variety which has a big potential for export. A third species found in Dagupan, the black lip variety, is yet to be subjected to study.

Mussels used to be raised only in Anda, Bolinao and Alaminos City in Pangasinan alone but are now affected by red tide mostly occurring before and during the start of summer every year.

Thus, it is not safe to source out mussel seeds from these areas so as not to transport red tide to other areas, said Rosario. Dagupan, he added, can do it because it was spared by red tide ever since this phenomenon appeared in western Pangasinan in the early 2000.

Rosario noticed that mussels are being raised in rivers of Dagupan City at a depth of three to five meters where the water is salty and not in the surface where oysters are being raised.

Because of this, he said that Dagupan may not qualify to supply the needs of the market in case Western Pangasinan could not deliver mussels on account of the red tide episode since it has only a limited area, aside from the fact that mussels can only be raised in the deeper parts of rivers.

But he is not discouraging fish farmers from raising mussels as this could supply the mussel seeds needed by other parts of the country that would want to also experiment on mussel production. (PNA)



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