Innovating oyster farming through single oyster technology

The Single Oyster Technology was introduced totwo (2) fisherfolk associations in  Brgy. Culajao and Cagay, Roxas City, Capiz under the Grants-in-Aid (GIA) program of the Department of Science and Technology VI (DOST VI).

This technology pioneered by Dr. Junemie Hazel Lebata-Ramos of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), enables the cultivation of oysters individually, producing single oysters with uniform sizes. Funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the technology involves the collection of oyster spats and growing them in net pouches or in trays suspended from bamboo rafts.

The use of net pouches or trays hung on bamboo rafts promotes faster oyster growth and can be moved around to prevent siltation. Rafts yield increased production per unit area and the PET bottles as spat collectors offer a convenient method of transplanting seeds to areas devoid of natural stocks. This method is more environmentally sustainable compared to traditional culture methods such as the use of bamboo stakes and tires.

The use of bamboo stakes increases siltation in the rivers resulting in reduced water quality, decreased oxygen levels, and loss of habitat among others while the use of tires can cause environmental contamination due to its harmful chemical components. Both methods produce clustered oysters with irregular, and mostly small sizes, and low market value.

The projects were implemented in two (2) river systems – Palina and Culajao rivers in Roxas City, in cooperation with fisherfolk associations namely the Palina River Development Association Inc. (PARIDA) and the Katunggan sa Culajao Salbaron Association, Inc. (KACUSA) of Brgy. Cagay and Culajao, Roxas City, respectively. The PARIDA and KACUSA fisherfolks showed immense commitment and were actively involved in various aspects of the project implementation, including participation in workshops and training, in the setup of oyster cultivation structures, monitoring of oyster growth and health, and data collection for research purposes.

Implementing the single oyster technology increase in the oysters’ market value, thereby improving the livelihood and financial standing of oyster farmers in Roxas City, Capiz. Additionally, this eco-conscious innovation encourages the use of more effective and sustainable aquaculture practices in the region. (LNGGebauer, VBDelaPeña/Capiz PSTO)