Giant freshwater prawn farming in the Philippines
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Freshwater prawn thrives in inland waters like rivers, lakes, swamps, irrigation canals, estuaries and even in rivers upstream. A recent survey in Luzon Island, Philippines identified 12 species of freshwater prawn found in the island (Agasen, unpublished). The country’s interest on freshwater prawn fishery started in 1914 as explained by Cowles (1914), when the freshwater prawn was recognized as one of the important fisheries during that time. In late 1976, trials were made to culture the freshwater prawn, however, the efforts were not sustained. These trials were conducted in Misamis Oriental, Mindanao between 1976-1979 by Dejarme et al., with the collection of wild spawners and the subsequent rearing of M. rosenbergii hatchlings. In 1981, a local banker-industrialist established a 100-hectare commercial Macrobrachium farm in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija and a hatchery in Bulacan. Services of experts from Israel were tapped for the project. Marketable prawns were sold live in Metro Manila utilizing in-house retail outlets. After a few years, the company diversified their operations to include tilapia culture. However, even the diversification attempt failed to save the first venture of commercial Macrobrachium rosenbergii production in the Philippines.
Rosario, W. R., & Tayamen, M. (2007). Giant freshwater prawn farming in the Philippines. In M. R. R. Eguia & M. L. C. Aralar (Comps.), Recent developments in the genetic improvement of the giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium sp.) (pp. 57–62). Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines: Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center.