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NFRDI-NFBC Presents Results for R&D Projects to Stakeholders of Taal Lake Cage Aquaculture and Capture Fisheries

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NDN Grand Hotel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute-National Fisheries Biological Center (NFRDI-NFBC) conducted the Stakeholders’ Symposium on Comparative Advantage of Using Extruded Floating Feeds for Tilapia and Milkfish Cage Culture and Status of Capture Fisheries in Taal Lake, held at NDN Grand Hotel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas on December 1, 2017 to present and validate the results of the Taal Lake R&D project of the Center to stakeholders of the lake. Participating stakeholders included feed millers (Santeh Feeds, Feedmix, Southeast Feeds, CP Feeds), cage operators (Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance, Inc or TLAAI, Sampaloc Cage Operators Association, Agoncilo-San Nicolas Association), non-government organizations (Tangol Kalikasan), DENR-PASu, BFAR 4A, LGUs (Laurel, Agoncillo), FARMC and NFRDI. Two (2) R&D projects were presented during the symposium: (1) Comparative Advantage of Using Extruded Floating Feeds for Tilapia and Milkfish Cage Culture, an R&D study on cage aquaculture; and (2) Status of Capture Fisheries in Taal Lake, a research on lake fisheries assessment. The former study was conducted in support to the implementation of policy of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape-Protected Areas Management Board (TVPL-PAMB) on the 100% use of extruded floating feeds in cage aquaculture. The latter project was done to support conservation and management policies in lake fisheries.

Results of the extruded floating feeds project was presented by Mr. Frederick B. Muyot, project leader of the study. The study showed relative efficiency of extruded floating feeds over the commonly used slow-sinking and sinking feeds in terms of growth, biomass harvest, feed conversion ratio, cost efficiency and profitability and size distribution at harvest. Using the extruded floating feeds, cage operators will achieve 19.73-35.61% increase in harvest, 17.23-28.6% increase in good sized fish at harvest, 16.27-30.15% increase in income due to lower feed cost and 16.27-30.15% decrease in feeds use in cage aquaculture zones. The use of extruded floating feeds will increase the profitability of culture while decreasing the organic loading in the lake due to lower feeds use, without compromising the volume of production in the lake. Stakeholder of the cage aquaculture in the lake validated the results of the study and affirms the positive impacts of using extruded floating feeds in cage culture.

Status of the capture fisheries in Taal Lake, which was presented by Myla C. Muyot, co-project leader of the study, showed the present conditions of the lake fisheries with emphasis on the emerging alien species in the lake which needs to be addressed to pre-empt concerns in fisheries diversity. While indigenous species like the endemic tawilis still dominate lake fisheries production, landed catch production of alien species such as tilapia arroyo, red cichlid, and jaguar guapote are also increasing and becoming major species in the lake.

Workshop was conducted after the presentations of the project results with the stakeholders divided into aquaculture sector and capture fisheries sector. Issues and concerns in the two sectors were discussed during the workshop and presented. For aquaculture, feeding strategies, carrying capacity and implementation of recommended stocking density are the major issues presented. For capture fisheries, major concerns raised were illegal fishing methods and increasing number of introduced species. Recommendations on the implementation of the use of extruded floating feeds in cage aquaculture and management options for Taal Lake capture fisheries were also discussed. The output of the workshop and other issues raised during the open forum were consolidated and will be integrated into the finals reports of NFRDI-NFBC for submission to DENR-PASu and TVPL-PAMB. These will serve as scientific basis for the implementation of the policy on the use of extruded floating feeds in cage aquaculture and management regulations for lake fisheries.