You are on page 1of 3

Notes on the Grouper (Lapu-lapu) Culture in the Philippines (Prepared by: Edmundo Enderez)

1. Grouper production and sources of grouper fry: Production of groupers in aquaculture has been recorded in 8 out of the 13 regions of the Philippines (see Map below), namely: Region 1 (Ilocos), Reg.2 (Cagayan), Reg. 3 (Central Luzon), Reg.4-a (Calabarzon), Reg.4-b (Mimaropa), Reg.6 (W.Visayas), Reg.9 (Zamboanga peninsula), and Caraga. On the other hand, it has been reported that wild grouper fry are sourced from the provinces of Pangasinan (Reg. 1), Cagayan (Reg.2), Bulacan (Reg.3), Cavite and Quezon (Reg.4-a), Mindoro (Reg.4-b), Masbate (Reg.5), Negros Oriental (Reg. 7), Zamboanga del Sur (Reg.9), and Dadiangas (Reg.12). With the growing acceptance of the grouper culture technology, fishfarmers in other provinces like Camarines Norte (Mercedes) and Sorsogon have invested in the grouper culture projects. 2. Graphs below show that grouper cumulative production in marine cages over the years is the highest. Since 2007-2008, total production in all culture methods has been declining, except for production in brackishwater cages. It appears that grouper culture in cages both in brackishwater and marine water is preferred by fishfarmers. And there is a trend that culture in brackishwater cages wll be the dominant culture method in the future. The data are culled from the BAS report.

3. The green or orange-spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides, is one of the major grouper species that are cultured. It has been observed that most of those who directly operate grouper culture projects are not fisheries or aquaculture graduates. It is their interest that has developed their right attitude to engage in and manage grouper culture projects as major sources of income. However, grouper technology still needs a lot of improvement particularly in the field of preventing cannibalism and occurrence of fish kills due to suffocation, disease and pollution. In areas free ofwater pollution, fish kill is encountered due to fish suffocation and diseases. The lack of qualified field grouper aquaculture technicians has hampered the technical feasibility and financial viability of the projects. 4. Addressing the problem on the occurrence of fish kill in ponds. Fish kill due to suffocation is the result of overstocking in pond, pen and cages wherein the natural available concentration of dissolved oxygen can only support certain level of fish biomass per unit area which is equivalent to the ideal stocking rate or density. In order to prevent suffocation in overstocked condition, aerating devices such as paddle wheels and pumps are employed. Given the normal weather condition, tidal fluctuation and water exchange in the culture area, the ideal or standard stocking rate or density from tiny and fry up to marketable size is presented in the Graph below. Stocking density if size is less than 2cm is 300-650 per cu.m. and at the end of the culture period (marketable size) it is 1 per cu.m. with pond depth of 1 meter.

5. Addressing the problem on cannibalism. Based on the study titled Effects of fish size and sizegrading on cannibalistic mortality in hatchery-reared orange-spotted grouper Epinephelus coioides juveniles published by The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2009, the following aspects are presented as follows: a. There are 3 types of cannibalism (see Illustration below): nip (tail first) in which the prey being swallowed from the tail up to the head, ingestion (head first) in which the prey being swallowed whole,

and suffocation in which predator suffocates to death with the prey in its mouth. But it is the ingestion and nip types that are common.

b. Based on the Table below, it is shown that orange-spotted grouper is more cannibalistic when its size is 30 mm or 3 cm and below and that the non-graded size of groupers has the highest mortality. This is the reason why grading of grouper stocks is a must particularly at tiny or fry stage. Initial Size (mm) Non-graded 25-30 32-48 40-55 Graded 25-27 39-41 46-48 After 10 days 25-42 37-58 44-70 25-41 39-56 47-65 Mortality 36.1 +/- 4.2a 6.7 +/-7.6b 6.7 +/-7.6b 28.3 +/-9.3a 1.7 +/-2.9b 1.7 +/-2.9b

c. Graph above shows the calendar of size-grading which is done every 2-3 days from tiny up to 5cm total length, every 5-7 days at size of 5 to 10cm, and every 2 weeks for more than 10cm, and every 2 months when the stocks are in the grow-out pond.