The regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-7 on January 31 turned over the Filtration System of the Giant Clam Hatchery Project, which is set to start full operation in the first quarter of 2019 in Sinandigan, Ubay, to the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) of the Office of the Governor.
BFAR-7 officials also conducted the final inspection of the ongoing constructions of Phycology Laboratory, Water Pumping and Aeration System at the facility for the Giant Clam Hatchery Project.
The project is among the plans and programs lined up for the improvement in the management of the marine protected areas in Bohol.
It is also intended to address poverty in the fishery sector.
To achieve this goal, the province of Bohol transported 200 giant clams from Bolinao, Pangasinan to Bohol for the purpose of restocking these endangered species around Bohol island and revive the marine life of the province as clams are proven to be “fish recruiters”.
Tridacna gigas species of clams, locally known as taklobo, were transported to Bohol in two batches on February 20, 2013 and May 19, 2013, respectively. There were 10 well-managed MPAs seeded with giant clams in the province.
The provincial government is looking forward for a more improved and sustained management of its Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in line with its goal of reducing poverty incidence and ensuring food security to the Boholano communities through collective efforts in the protection and conservation of our marine environment.
The Marine Protected Area Provincial Technical Working Group (MPA-TWG) of the province of Bohol composed national and provincial government agencies and non-government organizations has lined up plans and programs to improve the management of our MPAs.
Providing livelihood projects to the MPA management councils and the seeding of marine species like giant clams to the MPAs are among the priority programs identified by the TWG to enhance their management because studies revealed that seeding of giant clams increases recruitment of a variety of marine species and promote biodiversity in the area.
To sustain this program, the provincial government, through Chatto, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with BFAR-7 and Bohol Island State University (BISU) to establish a giant clam hatchery at BFAR Multi-species Hatchery in Sinandigan, Ubay.
The parties mutually agreed to undertake, execute and implement the Giant Clam Hatchery project.
Five units of spawning and larval rearing tanks with roofing in compliance to environmental and engineering standards have been constructed and established.
Currently, the construction of Phycology Laboratory with accessories, fixtures and electrical system is ongoing to support the successful operation of the hatchery.
The Phycology Laboratory provides natural food (micro-algae and diatoms) for hatchery cultures.
The lab cultures and maintains primary and secondary of good quality stocks of micro-algae for mass production.