Hot Business Opportunities in Abalone Culture – One possible money maker for aquaculture investors is the donkey’s ear abalone. There’s quite a niche market for this kind of sea product. Abalone culture is quite simple and does not require very sophisticated facilities to grow the shellfish.
Rey Acap, an abalone expert, from Oton, Iloilo, has designed a practical cage that could be used for the culturing abalone. This consists of three black plastic containers (carbuoy) often used for storing or transporting water, or some other liquid. Three containers are laid one on top of the other horizontally. Windows and two-inch holes are made to ensure the flow of water current. This serves as housing for the abalone being cultured. The plastic housing is then enclosed with net to prevent the abalone from going out as well as to prevent entry of predators. The cages are hanged on bamboo raft.
The juveniles take about eight months to culture before they are harvested for the market. First, about 600 juveniles are placed in one cage. Two months later, the content of the cage is divided into two, or 300 per cage. Another two months later, the 300 are split into two cages. These are then cultured up to the time they are marketable.
What is beautiful about culturing abalone is that they don’t require expensive feeds. Their feed consists of seaweeds such as gracilaria which are usually abundant in many coastal areas.
The recommended abalone species is the Haliotis asinine. The recommended site for culturing is a place with clear, unpolluted waters, protected from strong waves and current. Water depth should be at least four meters at low tide.
Interested Entrepinoy can source the seeds or juveniles in Rey Acap’s hatchery in Oton, Iloilo.