In light of the massive fish kill incidents in Luzon, there is much to learn from the mariculture park demo farm on Guimaras Island.
On our recent trip to Guimaras Island, we went on an island hopping tour, which included a quite interesting trip to a mariculture park demo farm.
The aquaculture park is a research facility sponsored by the government to aid fishermen in the Guimaras Island area. They’ve opened the facility to the public for educational purposes and in a way showcase this government program to the people.
The mariculture park demo farm stop was an interesting tour that I would highly recommended, especially if you have kids with you on your trip.. One of the researchers there talked to us to explain what they do there, and gave us insights into the lives of the fish they have in the facility.
At the fish farm, we saw huge lapu-lapus that were said to be around 183 pounds in weight and about 30 years old. We thought them so huggable and cute, until we’re told that they’re carnivorous, and if a cat would fall into the fish cage, it would likely be eaten.
There’s another fish cage housing milkfish (Chanos chanos) for production of bangus fingerlings. The research facility produces the fingerlings used by fishermen to grow bangus for commercial sale.
Every fish species has its unique way of propagating. Our guide told us about the interesting mating rituals of milkfish: two males sandwiching a female that’s ready to release eggs. When she does, she sprouts a milky substance, which is why they’re called milkfish. The males release the sperms, and all together, the milkfish swim in a big circular motion, so as to stir the water, thereby fertilizing the egg cells.
Incidentally, there’s been rampant fish kills in the Luzon area, and our guide couldn’t help but explain why that happened and how their methods help avoid such tragic incidents. Fishing in the Guimaras area is controlled. They make sure that there is only sustainable numbers of fish cages to ensure aeration. They also clean the fish pens after harvest to clean the muck left by unused feeds, which tend to pollute the water when they’re not removed.
I was happy to have visited this marine research facility, and it’s also good that it’s open to the public. Usually, research facilities can only accessed by students or people in the field. Opening them to tourists would help educate more people on how we can take care of our so-called home.