DAVAO CITY—A local businessman here said the Davao Gulf would be the site of the first multimillion-peso fisheries production venture after the working visit to China of President Duterte.
The venture would delve into the production of the lapu-lapu, the deep-sea grouper prized for its meat.
Domingo Ang, known for his Marituna restaurant chain serving mainly tuna dishes, said he would start with 40 cages, each measuring 4 meters by 4 meters, off the coast of Panabo City in Davao del Norte.
The cages would be readied for the scheduled arrival of a China shipment of 10 tons to 15 tons of the groupers’ fry, or equivalent to 100,000 fry, to be dispersed in the cages, even as some of the cages would already grow some of the available local fry stock.
The venture may expand to more than 100 hectares if the initial operation proved successful, he added.
The venture would be mainly funded by the Chinese government with Ang as the local partner.
In his social-media account, Ang posted on September 14 this note: “In a few days, the first fishery cooperation between China and the Philippines will start in the Davao Gulf.”
Ang has also talked with Mayor Al David Uy of the Island Garden City of Samal about providing available area for mari-culture and he was told it may be either in Babak or Kaputian district.
He said the lapu-lapu fish-production venture would be in full operation within the year, while a special program would be made for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for a personal inspection and signing of the agreement of the joint fisheries venture when he visits the country this year.
“It would be already operating before that,” he said.
An expert at the Finfish Hatcheries Inc., the country’s first and largest lapu-lapu fish hatchery located in Sarangani province, said a giant lapu-lapu ranges in weight from 80 kilograms to more than 100 kilograms each.
Genia Genosa, production superintendent for Finfish Hatcheries Inc., said in one of its communication dispatches that one giant grouper can spawn 20 percent of its own body weight in eggs, “meaning one of the spawning groupers can lay between 16 kilograms to more than 20 kilograms of eggs per cycle”.
Genosa said each kilo of giant grouper egg can have as many as 1.2 million fry.
Ang said a lapu-lapu fetches a current market price of between P4,000 to P6,000 a kilo.
Ang also plans to cultivate lobsters and operating a tuna-fishing operation in the Gulf alongside the lapu-lapu venture.
The lobster cultivation would happen within six months and maybe after finalizing the pilot operation of the lapu-lapu culture.
He would call the tuna business “tuna fishing for sashimi” and said it would adapt the handline-fishing operation to assure of the sustainability of the fish.
The Davao Gulf and the the Celebes Sea are part of the “tuna highway”, the migration path of tuna in the Asian waters of the Pacific Ocean.