Intensive prawn farming in the Philippines: ecological, social, and economic implications
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The benefits of intensive farming of the giant tiger prawn Penaeus monodon in the Philippines are discussed in relation to the environmental costs. Ecological effects include mangrove conversion into ponds; use of antibiotics and chemicals leading to drug resistance; dumping of pond effluents which affect neighboring ecosystems; and pumping of groundwater that causes saltwater intrusion and vulnerability to floods. In addition, these effects lead to social costs in the form of reduction in domestic and agricultural water supplies; decreases in the production of foodfish and other food crops; further marginalization of coastal fishermen; displacement of labor; and credit monopoly by big businessmen. Comparative economic analyses of three prawn-farming systems showed that, compared to extensive and intensive culture, semi-intensive farms give the best performance using undiscounted (payback period, return on investment) and discounted (net present value, internal rate of return) economic indicators. With a 20% fluctuation in inputs or selling price intensive farming will no longer be profitable because of the high variable cost. The paper concludes with recommendations for strict enforcement of existing government guidelines (e.g. ban on mangrove conversion); institution of new policies on the use of groundwater, seawater and public credit; diversification of cultured species; and emphasis on semi-intensive farming parallel with brakes on further intensification of prawn farming.
CitationPrimavera, J. H. (1991). Intensive prawn farming in the Philippines: ecological, social, and economic implications.
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Conference paperIbA Kechik - In TU Bagarinao & EEC Flores (Eds.), Towards sustainable aquaculture in Southeast Asia and Japan: Proceedings of the Seminar-Workshop on Aquaculture Development in Southeast Asia, Iloilo City, Philippines, 26-28 July, 1994, 1995 - SEAFDEC Aquaculture DepartmentAquaculture in Malaysia is experiencing rapid growth. Total production in 1992 amounted to 79,699 tons valued at RM 207.4 million. These figures are 23% and 25% higher than the previous year's. Semi-culture of the cockle Anadara granosa was still predominant, contributing about 70% of the total output. Culture and production of the oyster Crassostrea iredalei is still insignificant. Sea bass Lates calcarifer constituted over 80% of the production from marine cages. Cage culture of grouper Epinephelus sp., snapper Lutjanus sp. and pompano Trachinotus blochii were also done in much smaller scale. The mangrove snapper Lutjanus argentimaculatus was recently spawned in captivity and larvae and juveniles were produced. In 1992, the tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon constituted about 87% of brackishwater pond production. Pond culture of the white shrimp P. merguiensis and the mudcrab Scylla sp. is at the experimental stage. Red tilapia hybrid was the major freshwater species cultured in cages, with 1,486 tons harvested in 1992. Freshwater pond production was valued at RM 100.85 million, 22% of which was due to the eel Anguilla japonica. Production of freshwater ornamental fishes is also becoming significant. Other exotic species recently bred and cultured are the African catfish Clarias gariepinus and the pacu Piaractus brachypomus. The indigenous freshwater catfish Mystus nemurus and carp Probarbus julleini have recently been bred in captivity and cultured experimentally. Lately, there have been attempts to culture non-conventional species such as the bullfrog Rana catesbeiana, the soft-shell turtle Trionyx sinensis, and aquatic ornamental plants.
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