The province of Misamis Oriental has been identified as one of the potential areas for prospective abalone farms according to the Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department based in Iloilo.

Abalone is an edible mollusk lined with mother-of-pearl, and could flourish in Mindanao due to its warm seas and could potentially become its high-value aquaculture product.

Vincent Encena II, specialist of Iloilo-based Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD), said Mindanao could cultivate abalone due to favorable sites, weather and availability of seaweeds.

Aside from Misamis Oriental, other potential sites are Surigao del Sur and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), particularly Tawi-tawi and the Sulu group of islands, where tropical abalone wild stocks may be found.

The first Abalone Farm in the country was established in Iloilo in 2006.

Abalone, a shallow ear-shaped shell and pierced with respiratory holes, is considered a delicacy in Asia. It thrives under the rocks and coral rubble and is known for its sweet firm meat.

Canned abalone is one of the preferred product forms in the Chinese market, which is the biggest market for abalone in the world. Abalone may be sold for P750 to P800 per can in the local market and more if sold in the export market, he added. He said while a container load of canned tuna is valued at $40,000, the same container load of canned abalone would have a value of around $390,000.

The identification of Misamis Oriental may have resulted from the success of the mariculture farm in Balingasag .

click HERE for further info on Abalone Farming; with article from Mick Nm. Basa of Manila Bulletin

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