Lobster production- part 1

Lobster Culture

By; the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

 

Lobster (Family Homaridae) commands a higher price than other crustacean species such as shrimps and crabs. The common spiny lobsters are in demand both in the local and export market because of their delicate flesh. They are bought live and each weighs between 500 g – 1kg.

 

The spiny lobster has a hard shell, stalked eyes, four pairs of legs and a pair of antennae below the eyes. Unlike the common species, spiny lobsters do not have large claws. However, they have a pair of hand like appendages used to hold food. In guimaras, Philippines, the most common species are the ornate tropical rock lobster or tiger lobster (Panuliris ornatus); green lobster (Jasus verreauxi) and the Southern rock lobster or pulahan (Jasus novaehollandiae).

 

Fisher folks gather lobster from reefs at shallow  depths at nigh using kerosene-fueled lamps (lampara) and pole nets or gill nets. During the day, lobsters are speared or caught by air compressors. Fisher folks from Guimaras harvest tropical rock lobsters from wild stock. During the peak season, they could harvest about 50-80 kg per week valued at 800.00 pesos per kg. Lobsters are successfully cultured in Zamboanga and Guimaras, Philippines.

 

Lobster culture in Pens

Lobster culture has been done in cages, concrete ponds and sea farm pens in Singapore, Thailand, Australia and recently, in the southern Philippines. The most conventional design is the cubical pen measuring at least 5 m x 5 m x 4-6 m framed by wood or bamboo and strengthened at the corners by big poles.

 

Selecting a lobster pen site

Note the following parameters in selecting a good site for the lobster pen:

Location. Marine waters far away from rivers and creeks and free from domestic, industrial agricultural wastes and other environmental hazards.

Substrate. Sandy and rocky, with corals and patches of seagrass.

Water quality. Clear, with considerable amount of plankton and other food organism; salinity not less than 30 pt.

Water current. 10-35 cm/sec; minimum of moderate current exchange; free from strong waves sucha s those resulting from typhoons.

Water Depth. Not less than 1m during the lowest low tide (neap tide) and mot more than 6 m during high tide.

Availability of species. Presence of indigenous species to help solve the shortage of juvenile stock.

Security. As lobsters command a very high price, they become easy prey to thieves. The site selected must be within a community where peace and order is not a problem.

Government restriction. Inquire from the local government unit (LGU) for the necessary permit for culturing lobsters.

source:MARID Agribusiness, 2004 

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