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Newly Designed Rice Eel Trap Benefits Fishermen

06 December 2013

PHILIPPINES - The once considered menace fish which turned to be an export commodity bringing income to affected fisherfolk still continue to provide livelihood to residents in many parts of the region as Asian countries demand for live supply of the rice eel (Monopterus albus).

Venchito Villarao, the inventor of the first pipe-made eel trap has now a newly designed trap which can hold rice eel alive up to longer hours.

“The first trap was really effective according to fisherfolk because they will just have to set the trap before the sunset and will wait for the next morning to collect them, it will not require much effort unlike the traditional way of catching where paddies are destroyed," Villarao revealed added that some even resort to electro-fishing.

For the year, the bureau has constructed 2,500 eel traps distributed to the different infested municipalities in the region.

“But in the first trap, if not immediately cast, eel will die, but with the new one, eel will remain alive as it can go out of the pipe but still enclosed in a net,” Villarao revealed.

This will be of great help to fsiherfolk as Asian countries like China, Taiwan and Singapore demands for live rice eel.

In the first half of the year, the rice eel brought an estimated amount of P517 million export value and is expected to reach one billion by the end of the year.

Director Jovita P. Ayson has mobilised its experts to maximise the use of rice eel to lessen its effects to the fishermen to include the provision of traps and teaching communities to process the fish into a value-added product like rice eel longganisa, chicaron (rice eel skin) and patties.

Earlier, Director Asis G.Perez has lauded the efforts of BFAR Region 02 for turning the pest fish into a dollar-earner commodity.

TheFishSite News Desk



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