The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Alabat, Quezon and the Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) Alabat Campus, inaugurated a new multi-species marine hatchery today, October 7.

The inauguration ceremony was led by DA-BFAR Assistant Director for Operations and DA-BFAR IV-A Regional Director Sammy A. Malvas, National Broodstock Development Program Focal and DA-BFAR III Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz, and Quezon’s 4th District Representative, Congressman Keith Micah Tan, along with other key officials from the municipal and provincial government.

The project, which was initiated by the government to boost the country’s aquaculture production by augmenting the production of locally-sourced mangrove crabs and lobsters in the Philippines, started in June 2021 in which a tripartite agreement through a memorandum was signified between the BFAR Regional Fisheries Office 4A, local government unit of Alabat, Quezon, and Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) – Alabat. DA-BFAR transferred Php 23 million to the local government of Alabat to cover the construction costs.

During the first two years, the DA-BFAR 4A will take charge of managing the multi-species marine hatchery while providing technical skills through training and capacity building to local government personnel in preparation for the turnover of the facility. Thereafter, the local government unit will be fully responsible for the management of the facility.

The multi-species marine hatchery is located in SLSU – Alabat Campus and is projected to produce 1.5 million pieces of crablets annually. The crablets produced will eventually be transferred to nursery ponds in nearby areas, which will then be supplied to cage operators in mariculture parks in the municipalities of Alabat, Perez, Padre Burgos, and other municipalities of Quezon.

In addition, a new source of lobsters and mangrove crablets within the province provides the local aquaculture industry with a number of advantages, including lower fry costs, which also translates into lower operating capital for fish farmers, the emergence of more nurseries and grow-out areas within the province, increased revenue for the LGU, and more employment opportunities for the community.

“Ito [hatchery] po ay alinsunod sa goal ng ating pamahalaan upang mapalakas ang produksyon at

mapataas ang food sufficiency level ng bansa. Ito po ay pasimulang hakbang para sa pagkamit ng layuning maka-produce ng marami para hindi na tayo mag-angkat mula sa ibang bansa,” DA-BFAR Assistant Director for Operations and DA-BFAR IV-A Regional Director Sammy A. Malvas said. Adding that the hatchery will be beneficial to the students of SLSU-Alabat Campus during their practical or on-the-job training.

Of the fifty-seven (57) multi-species hatcheries and aquaculture facilities to be constructed nationwide under forty-one (41) Republic Acts legislated during the 16th, 17th and 18th Congresses, the Bureau, to date, has completed a total of 15, while 12 are now under construction.