Jump to content
JamesMusslewhite

Building a Small Lobster Hatchery here in the Philippines

Recommended Posts


JamesMusslewhite

This is the species known as 'Panulirus ornatus' aka (Fancy Spiny or Rock Lobster) and this will be the species I will primarily specializing in producing this facility for the markets. There is also a local variety of lobster found in the waters here I also intend on trying to raise but though the local species actually brings a higher price from buyers I intend to primarily raise them to be free-released back into the local waters to help insure their population remains vibrant and healthy  The 'P. ornatus' is species most raised to be sold to buyers and currently the price offered by buyers for this species is 2,200php per kilo. The average market size of an individual 'P. ornatus' lobster is 1/2 kilo and above. A lobster to reach market size from a fingerling (AAA battery size) is usually 10-14 months, and from a fingerling (AA battery size) approximately 8-10 months depending on their care and feeding..

13244861_10207102453539584_6285558857500

 

The real problem with the industry is the strain on the natural supply of lobster fingerlings. The industry will eventually totally outstrip the supply. Factors like pollution, Red Tides, dynamite fishing and destruction of ocean mariculture will simply not allow the present strain on their natural population. Yet there are more growers entering the industry daily. Hatcheries are the only solution for the sustainability and growth of this industry.

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

This overview is of the location where the hatchery is presently being built. The real jewel of this location is the small saltwater pond and the waters here around Surigao City, Dinaget Island and Siargao island is they are well upstream from any large urban area  with water currents coming directly off the Philippine Seas and Pacific which flows inward and through the Surigao Straights. This means that the water is clean and free of the pollutants found in so many other locations around these islands.. This area is also free of the Red Tide events which decimates other areas. These waters still have a vibrant diverse natural fish populations and this area works diligently to protect and preserve the existing mangroves as well as vigorous mangrove replanting practices being conducted in this region. This makes it a natural mariculture fish nursery for a diverse array of mariculture and aquagic species. There has been a problem with dynamite damage in the past but they are trying to crackdown and prosecute them. I hope to use parts of the small island as a natural marine preservation sanctuary working with the regional authorities to relocate endangered species of corals so they can be protected and flourish so they can proliferate and help reseeding these waters so the corals can eventually try to recover. The clean steady currents can naturally redistribute spores and larvae around the islands in this region. It may only be a small drop in a huge bucket but at least it will be a drop.  

 

13263916_10207102398218201_1968305863997

 

This is a picture of the small saltwater pond next to the house we are living in next to the old concrete structure that will be used to house the hatchery.

13524316_10207336334906472_3347633664171

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

These two videos were taken almost one month ago while we visited the island to check on the progress of the little house to see if it was ready for us to make the move over from the farm on Dinagat Island. These first two videos shows the island and the structures Sorry for the quality of the videos as they were taken with a cell phone.

 

facebook video removed/

facebook video removed/

 

And this video taken about a week ago shows the progress made over the last 3-1/2 weeks.

 

facebook video removed/

 

 

( these Facebook videos have had their security settings set to 'Private' and can no longer be viewed )

 

The same videos have been uploaded into my Youtube Channel and these three videos are linked later on this thread. Youtube has editing features not available on facebook which allows video quality enhancement and image stability to these videos allowing for a better viewing quality. Many people are unable to view Facebook videos as restricts viewing access to only those with Facebook accounts. Youtube allows free access viewing to anyone who visits my channel on their site. Please feel free to visit and view my videos and if you wish 'subscribe' and or 'like' my Youtube channel.   

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dafey

I already like this thread...very interesting and tastfully presented! Speaking of which, I would love to offer my services as a lobster taster if you have the need. I will selflessly throw myself under the cholesterol bus to provide acurate palate data.

 

Seriously...good luck with this venture and I look forward to reading more.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

The old concrete story has a rather strange story behind it. Seems that years ago it was part of a previous mariculture project ran by a Taiwan national. At the time there were large fish cages which was heavily guarded with armed guards who would deny access to any and all locals. The owner of the facility kept a small seagoing ship anchored off the island. Then it was discovered that the whole facility was just a front for a rather large shabo operation. When the PNP readied a raid to be done here it is believed the operators were tipped off allowing everyone time to jump on the little ship and steamed away full speed to parts unknown.

 

My business partner eventually purchased all three titled tracts of the little island about a decade ago. He told me that the locals had stripped the structure down to the bare bones and then chewed on the bone. The old two story concrete structure will still serve it's purpose and will house all the saltwater tanks and equipment and serve as the heart of the hatchery. I will build a nepa roof between the first and second floor of the structure for now., and later I will add a second floor and the permanent metal roof placed on top of the 2-story structure. There is no reason to spend the money now on an expensive roof when it is really not needed, and once in production the profits generated will pay for the renovation. 

 

This how the inside looked when we first arrived as it was heavily overgrown.

13226930_10207096890360508_2239702541268

 

We started clearing the overgrowth late last week.

13516489_10207336325666241_2289536188789

 

and yesterday we started on the roof construction.And finally after years of preparation I can try to make this concept a reality. The game is afoot.

13590423_10207368574752448_7401588839018

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.C.A.

Good luck and that building is still in great shape the expensive part of it the supporting structure is still there.  

 

I thought about doing something similar but with fresh water crabs, they raise them in our area and we are located next to the lake and have a low lying area where I could attempt to create a huge pit but I need to research this myself and find out how to build a crab pond.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

Now at the same time we are building the hatchery I also have to design gardens into a landscape, build some small chicken coops and rabbit hutches over the following weeks. Over the last few weeks we had deliveries of building materials, landscape plants and this morning we had a delivery of vegetables.

13592726_10207368592592894_7983204238719

 

The landscape design will primarily be vegetable and herb gardens with trellises along the fence line for climbing vegetables which will make for an attractive privacy screen while allowing substance for the table. We should start receiving deliveries of soils for the garden as well as bagging some quality soils from our own farm and transport them here in our boat. My business partner also loves orchids as much as I do so he has been delivering them here so I can use them in the landscape as well.

 

13592167_10207368582312637_5497349927953

 

13532903_10207368581072606_6024556928276

Orchids are a subject I will be covering later as to their care, propagation and proper mounting. You can never have too many different species in your gardens.

13590238_10207368590352838_6738320788052

The more that is delivered means the more projects need to be started.

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

Good luck and that building is still in great shape the expensive part of it the supporting structure is still there.  

 

I thought about doing something similar but with fresh water crabs, they raise them in our area and we are located next to the lake and have a low lying area where I could attempt to create a huge pit but I need to research this myself and find out how to build a crab pond.

 

you could also raise prawns or fish together in crab ponds. It never hurts trying to multi-crop species whenever possible as to do so can allow you additional revenue streams from the same space.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.C.A.

you could also raise prawns or fish together in crab ponds. It never hurts trying to multi-crop species whenever possible as to do so can allow you additional revenue streams from the same space.

Great idea, the lake has prawns or small shrimp in it, late at night the fishermen use bright lights and nets to haul them in right off the shore area's, but maybe I could find a much larger prawn that would work, it's fresh water though, Laguna de Bay.

Edited by M.C.A.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

I have two really good workers on this project. The lead is a good carpenter and a quality mason which will be needed when I start constructing all the saltwater tanks. This is the basic floor plan done as a 3d rendering I made when designing the interior of the concrete structure. It shows the various saltwater tanks that will need to be constructed over the months to come. The only variation is that this drawing only shows 10 Stage IV larvae grow-out trays where this facility is designed to have 20 Stage IV grow-out trays, and shows only 10 larvae cone racks when there are actually 15 larvae cone racks.

14448898_10207999906935358_2587277502937

 

14369985_10207999906815355_7413677235699

 

The drawing above is the actual 2D plat diagram of the actual floor plan of this facility, and the diagrams shows the actual scaled dimensions and proper placements of various saltwater tanks and all associated equipment within the facility that I am presently building. The interior floor space within the walls of this facility is (32.5 feet width X 64 feet length).

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

Great idea, the lake has prawns or small shrimp in it, late at night the fishermen use bright lights and nets to haul them in right off the shore area's.

 

I will be raising lobster fingerlings from egg and also shrimp from egg as their food requirements are really quite similar in their early larvae stages. You can also use floating cages in you crab pond and raise Tilapia and prawns in the same cage, it merely takes constructing a prawn sanctuary in the bottom of your net cage to keep them separated. They each take about 10 months to mature and can be harvested at the same time. The prawns help keep the net cage clean by consuming the spent food the Tilapia did not eat and the algae that collects at the bottom of the cage. When I designed larger fish ponds to be used for aquaculture setup I would always include them and my clients loved them as the were basically maintenance free and allowed another protein source from their systems. I did find a videos of a guy who was using them and this will allow you to see what I am talking about. Mine were a bit more complex as they were sectional (individual blocks) which were laid out like bricks  covering the bottom. This allowed.much more ease when harvest time and I could rotate them so I could allow then to harvest prawn blocks every month or two.

 

 

 
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.C.A.

Thank you James, real interesting video, and I like how the tank is built into the ground. It's given me some new idea's on how to go about this.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JamesMusslewhite

If one looks real close at the photos you will see that the back half of the structure once had a second level floor. The roof rafters will sit on the outer concrete floor supports while the center of the rafters will simply rest on the concrete center beam. The front half of the structure does not have either the outer side concrete floor supports nor is there a concrete center beam. That means that heavy poles must be set in place to support the whole weight of the rafters and the nepa roofing for the front half of the structure.

 

The project started yesterday morning and at quitting time this evening this as the progress so far. With luck the roof frame will be finished and ready for the nepa roofing and the guttering that I will be making to run down each side of the roof. The runoff will be caught by the cutters which will then send the rain water to stacks of rain barrels to be later used to water the gardens and grass lawn.

13516583_10207369867704771_4790352678611

 

13516176_10207369869184808_5425446118161

 

13507029_10207369868664795_3445416190303

 

One of the decisions for lowering the roof instead of putting the roof up on top of the structure was the decision to put a temporary nepa style roof. Having a roof covering that may need replacing before we were ready to put a much heaver permanent roof caused some concerns about possible safety issues. Also by lowering the roof as we are doing will allow the upper concrete walls to help shield the nepa roof from possible wind damage if we have a major storm move through the area. We do not want rainwater to be introduced to the floor sumps or the saltwater tanks. This would case the saltwater to become brackish and quickly change the water pH levels which could be catastrophic to Stage 1, 2 and 3 lobster larvae and cause a quick die-off. If the larger reserve saltwater tanks were to be contaminated by freshwater rains during the rainy season I would be unable to replace the saltwater as the rain's runoff would make the waters around the island to become brackish. The purity of the saltwater running through the system is paramount to help avoid unnecessary shock and possible mass die-off of stock. When dealing with numbers of between 6,000 to 10,000 lobster larvae in a single crop and a simple slip up could cause thousands of larvae loss virtually over night. The loss of just one larvae is the loss of 90php-350php depending on the size at the point of sale as a fingerling. Dropped in a net for 10 months and it is worth 1,200php minimum at point of sale. Now lose 4,000-10,000 larvae because of something really really simple or stupid and then do that three times in one year. Best have all your ducks in a row and contingencies i place. Then you have to still deal with the harsh reality that lobster larvae through Stage IV are very cannibalistic by nature. If you feed types and ratios are not just right they will gladly help eat through your profits.It is like Highlander to them, 'There can only be one'...

Edited by JamesMusslewhite
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

 

 

by consuming the spent food the Tilapia did not eat and the algae that collects at the bottom of the cage.

 

I cannot imagine Tilapia NOT eating food given to them. The little runts I have in my (temporary) aquarium, will eat you out of house and home. I put some sword plants in with them, due to high ammonia levels - in order to help drop it. They "snack" on the leaves daily. 

 

What do you feed them? Duckweed, they will die for.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Adsbygoogle

    Advert



  • Adsbygoogle

    Advert

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Guidelines and use of We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..