Combined Fish and Palm Production
Coastal ecosystems and mangroves in the Philippines are in danger of overexploitation. Aquasilviculture, the production of mangroves with fish, saves these areas from extinction and exploitation.
A variation of aquasilviculture, `agri-nipa'-aquaculture combines `nipa' and agricultural crops with fish production.
Fish around Nipa Plantation
It involves the planting of nipa in 70-80% of the area at the center of the fishpond, and in the 20-30% open and deeper areas around the nipa plantation, where fish congregates during low tide. Water is allowed to enter during high tide to freshen the water in the fishpond. This brings in plankton and oxygen for the fish. During low tide, the ponds are drained slowly, leaching the tannins produced by the mangrove species.
Increases Income and Rehabilitates Coastal Environment
The technology has the following advantages: rehabilitates and protects coastal environment; abates coastal pollution; enhances wetlands and wildlife habitat; rehabilitates degraded or abandoned fishponds; creates job opportunities; increases income; increases equal access to natural resources; makes available low-priced animal protein; and enhances community awareness on sustainable utilization of coastal resources.
The agri-nipa aquaculture technology involves the following steps: 1) protect existing mangrove stands from firewood and pole gatherers; 2) construct two nipa-aquaculture ponds and stock them with golden hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, or O. mossambicus, or O. hornorum) and `bangus' (Chanos chanos) fry for fish production; 3) plant nipa; and 4) plant fruits or vegetable crops on the dikes and open spaces for immediate source of income because nipa can be harvested only after 3-4 years.
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