SSU set to conduct NICER – crustacean program in Eastern Visayas

Research and development on the sustainable production of crustaceans in Eastern Visayas will be conducted by the Samar State University (SSU). 

This initiative was approved under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Science for Change Program, Accelerated R&D Program for Capacity Building of Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness-Niche Centers in Regions for R&D (NICER). The SSU NICER program on crustaceans is one of the first batches of R&D program/projects, which has been approved by DOST for funding. 

In connection with the program, the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), conducted an official visit to the SSU R&D program sites on crustaceans.

The visit was led by DOST-PCAARRD Acting Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora together with Dr. Mari-Ann M. Acedera, Director of the Council’s Marine Resources Research Division (MRRD).

Titled, “Establishment of the Eastern Visayas Center for Crustacean Research and Development (EVCCRD),” the program has two project components. 

Project 1 is titled “Stock assessment and reproductive biology of blue swimming crab (P. pelagicus, Linnaeus 1758) and other crustacean in Maqueda Bay, Villareal Bay, Zumarraga Channel and southeastern Samar Sea.” 

The project intends to provide scientific basis to determine problems such as the overexploitation of the blue swimming crab and other crustaceans in the waters of Eastern Visayas. It will significantly explain the effects of fishing on the stock structure and reproductive potential of the species. Professor Jesus T. Racuyal serves as the Program and Project Leader. 

Project 2, on the other hand, “Stock enhancement of blue swimming crab through breeding and seed production,” aims to determine the productivity of the species under hatchery conditions to produce stocks for enhancement, particularly in Samar. Professor Renato Diocton serves as the Project Leader. 

The program has a total budget of ₱25 million and will be implemented for three years. 

SSU Vice-President for Planning, Research and Development Ronald Orale, Prof. Racuyal, and Prof. Diocton toured the visiting team to the hatchery and production facility of the SSU-Mercedes Campus as well as the Center for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Research and Development. 

Prof. Racuyal said that the establishment of the EVCCRD will benefit the local government unit (LGU) of Eastern Visayas in terms of the information, strategies, and technologies that the program will generate. These can be used by the said LGU in policy formulation on the management and sustainable utilization of blue swimming crab and other crustacean resources, thereby helping improve the social conditions of the fisherfolk.   

With the conducted site visit to the Hatchery Production Facility of SSU and the meeting of PCAARRD with the NICER program personnel, the group has polished the targets of the program, which is now ready for implementation.