Lingayen, Pangasinan, Philippines
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Coral Restoration, Crab Hatchery Projects: PSU’s share to Pangasinan’s Aquaculture Dev’t

Coral Restoration, Crab Hatchery Projects: PSU’s share to Pangasinan’s Aquaculture Dev’t

Pangasinan State University (PSU) as a higher education institution has a great impact to the contextual framework of building communities. One of the aligned commitments of PSU along with its four fold functions is to extend its hands and expertise in implementing projects that are contributory for the growth and development of grassroots lives.

In pursuit to this pledge, PSU tightened up partnership to aquaculture development projects with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources, Research and Development (PCAARRD), a sectoral planning council of the Department of Science and Technology. The projects are coined “Application of Coral Transplantation Technology to Improve Productivity of Coral Reef Resources for Responsible and Sustainable Fisheries and Harness Potentials of Alaminos City, Pangasinan for Underwater Tourism” and “Improved Commercial Scale Mud Crab Hatchery / Nursery System for Alaminos City, Pangasinan.” These are being funded by the DOST-PCAARRD with the implementation of PSU and cooperation of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Alaminos City, RVS4Star Inc., 702nd Brigade, Philippine Army and Sangkalikasan.

Coral Reef Transplantation Project

Provide habitats to millions of marine species – the coral reefs are said to be one of the most diverse and prolific ecological units in the globe. Therefore, coral reefs significantly contribute to fisheries productivity. The state of Philippine coral reefs, however, is at risk as it suffers serious degradation and massive decline caused by human devious activities such as destructive fishing practices, overfishing and coastal developments. Moreover, global warming effects with the threats posed by natural calamities also contributed to ocean acidification and coral bleaching.

As a response for the enhancement of damaged reefs, mass regrowing of coral reefs was commenced in 2012 with the initiative of DOST-PCAARRD through the program entitled “Roll-out of Coral Transplantation Technology Using Asexually Reproduced Coral to Improve Productivity of Coral Resources for Sustainable Fisheries and Enhance Competitiveness of Underwater Tourism” with the implementation of various Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country in cooperation of local government units. HEIs involved in the implementation are the University of San Carlos, Bicol University, Mindanao State University, Batangas State University, Bohol Island State University, Aklan State University, and Southern Leyte State University.

Intova Digital Camera

Faculty members of PSU Binmaley while transplanting coral fragments at the sea bed of Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.

In 2014, DOST-PCAARRD with PSU and the LGU of Alaminos City rolled out the “Application of Coral Transplantation Technology to Improve Productivity of Coral Reef Resources for Responsible and Sustainable Fisheries and Harness Potentials of Alaminos City, Pangasinan for Underwater Tourism Project” in Mayor’s Island, Hundred Islands National Park (HINP). There are 30, 000 numbers of fragment for transplantation targeted for completion until the first quarter of 2017 through the use of coral nursery units (CNUs) and nail and cable method technologies. The project also aims to identify and document potential stream of dive sites; develop a pool of human resources for coral restoration and eco-tourism that could jump-start coral restoration service industry; and promote science-based coral reef management.

Mud Crab Hatchery Project

New project is set to rise in Alaminos City early in 2017 called as the “Improved Commercial Scale Mud Crab Hatchery / Nursery System for Alaminos City, Pangasinan” with a ground-breaking and launching event happened on November 26, 2016.

The project is a 5-million mud crab hatchery that would be first of its kind in Northern Luzon to run by a local government unit, said by Virna Salac, the National Coordinator of DOST-PCARRD. She added that the hatchery in Alaminos City will service mud crab grow out producers in the private sector.

Dr. Rolando Cerezo, PSU Director for special projects and project leader of mud crab hatchery, stated that they would use king crab as breeders that can produce 480, 000 crablets per year once the hatchery is operational in a 500 square-meter lot.

PSU will supervise the project and will train technicians from the local government unit of Alaminos City.

People’s Responsibility

As what the United Nations Development Institute once said, people are the subject of development. It is the people’s participation which links inextricably with development. With this, people in the locality of Pangasinan have significant roles inclined with the Coral Reef Transplantation and Mud Crab Hatchery Projects toward achieving fisheries production sustainability in the locality – that is to be actively involved in all aspects of the management processes of the projects. Furthermore, the community people along coastal areas particularly the fisherfolks should be responsible of their fishing practices to avoid any obliteration that can cause or affect the productivity of the coastal waters.

Information Sources: PSU Special Projects, PSU Binmaley and Philippine Daily Inquirer

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