Blue mussels cause decrease in fish farming in Dagupan
The blue mussels introduced to Dagupan rivers in Pagasinan a few years back are now negatively affecting local fish farmers raising signanid (Malaga) and grouper (lapu-lapu).
Marvin Asis of the City Agriculture Office (CAO) said the blue-lipped mussels, which multiply rapidly, stick to the nets of fish cages and hinder the flow of water to the pens.
Asis told the City Council during a committee hearing on the proposed Dagupan Comprehensive Development Plan for 2018 to 2022, that many fisher folk have stopped operation because they could not afford to change nets all the time.
Fish farmers in Dagupan City earlier consider the blue-lipped mussels as allegedly invasive species, as its shell and meat are a little smaller than common brown and black mussels normally being raised in commercial quantity in the coastal waters of western Pangasinan.
However, Westly Rosario, chief of Dagupan=based National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Developemtn Center (NIFTDC) thinks that blue-lopped mussels are not a nuisance but rather a boon.
According to him, the blue-lipped mussels are not only a good source of protein, but the mussel can also give birth to two other profitable industries in Dagupan-duck-and-crab raising.
Rosario said the blue-lipped mussels now abundant in rivers of Dagupan can be reduced into powder and become feeds to the ducks. The farmers will no longer need to buy expensive commercial feeds.
On the other hand, the blue mussels, even if not pulverized, can also be used as feeds for crabs, citing the first crab farm in Dagupan owned by former Speaker Jose De Venecia located in Sitio Watac, Barangay Mamalingling, Dagupan City
Fish farmers have earlier asked the City Government for help in fighting the uncontrollable spread of blue mussels in rivers, which they said affected their production of milkfish (bangus) and other species