Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Oyster Industry Profile

Oysters are considered as one of the most valuable bivalve mollusks in the Philippines. Aside from providing decent income for shellfish farmers, oysters are known to be an excellent source of protein and minerals essential to human diet. They are also popularly served in hotels and restaurants. The Philippines produced over 53 thousand metric tons (MT) of oysters in 2020, with its value reaching P1 billion. Bulacan is the top producer with a total of over 53 thousand MT. This is followed by Capiz and Negros Occidental with oyster production of 8 thousand MT and 1.4 thousand MT, respectively.

Oyster farming is considered traditional and conservative in the country as seeds are collected from the wild. Oyster seeds are collected during natural ‘spatfall,’ which occurs a few weeks after the onset of the rainy season when water salinity is reduced. Wild spats, which are oyster in larval stage, settle on oyster shells, coconut shells, bamboo, stones, empty rubber tires, and other hard materials. Oyster hatchery depends on the species to be produced, target production, geographical location and funds available. Some small hatcheries supply seedstock for their oyster culture operations, while other large hatcheries produce for their operations and retail to other growers. Spats, 2–3 millimeters (mm) in size, are produced in hatchery and nursery facilities. Further, bigger size spats are expensive due to the need to culture more and diverse species of microalgae for feeding.

Problems in the Industry

The Philippine oyster industry has limited seed stocks and sources of broodstock as spats are gathered from the wild. Data on the quality oyster varieties for culture is also lacking. There is a need to improve broodstock management and conditioning, and hatchery production to increase the currently low meat yield of oysters.

ISP for Oyster

The ISP on Oyster improves the local production and ensures safe and quality harvest through the refined raft and longline culture, and pouch and tray methods. Farmers can now produce oysters weighing 75-90 grams within 7 months compared to the traditional method of 8 to 10 months. The identified growth areas for oysters in Capiz and Aklan through the R&D (where relaying sites are established) produce raw oysters safe for human consumption. Specifically, the Oyster ISP aims to increase meat yield from 14% to 35%, increase survival rate from 80-85% to 96-99% survival rate of farmed oyster, and 50-80% increase in Philippine Oyster Production for domestic and export markets through the adopted refined culture technologies and established hatchery production.

Strategic R&D

Strategic R&D is DOST-PCAARRD’s banner program comprising all R&D activities that are intended to
generate outputs geared towards maximum economic and social benefits

Technologies

Products, equipment, and protocols or process innovations developed to improve productivity, efficiency,
quality, and profitability in the agriculture and aquatic industries, and to achieve sustainable
utilization and management of natural resources

Refined raft and longline culture method

SEAFDEC, UPV, and Samar State University (SSU), in collaboration with DOST-PCAARRD, improves local production and produces safe and quality oyster harvest.  With the refined raft and longline culture method, the...

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Pouch and tray methods

SEAFDEC, UPV, and Samar State University (SSU), in collaboration with DOST-PCAARRD, improves local production and ensures safe and quality oyster harvest. The pouch and tray methods produce uniform weight, quality...

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Capacity Building

Capacity building efforts of DOST-PCAARRD seek to develop and enhance the R&D capabilities of researchers
and academic or research institutions through graduate assistantships & non-degree trainings
and development and/or upgrading of research facilities

Manpower Development

Policy Research & Advocacy

Analysis of policy concerns and advocacy of science-informed policies ensures that the AANR policy environment is conducive for S&T development
and investments

Competitiveness of Philippine Oyster Industry under the ASEAN Economic Community

Oyster production in the Philippines was found to be competitive in both export trade and import substitution scenarios. The Philippines’ oysters are competitive with oysters produced in other countries and exporting them can boost foreign exchange in the country. Further, the production cost of oysters locally is cheaper compared to the production cost of imported oysters.

Reference:

Andal, E. G., Lapiña, G. F., Manalo, N. Q., Dorado, R. A. Valientes, R. M., & Cruz, M. B. (2017). ASEAN Economic Community: Opportunities and Challenges for the Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry Sectors. Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines: Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development – (Project Report)