Site selection for new green mussel culture area expansion in Buguey estuary, Cagayan, Philippines.

Abstract

Currently, there is limited data on the suitability of estuaries in Cagayan province, Philippines for aquaculture. In this brief report, we discuss the overall assessment score of Buguey estuary in the municipality of Buguey, Cagayan as potential spot for the culture of green mussel (Perna viridis), locally known in the Philippines as "tahong". The score is mainly based on salinity and water temperature. We also present the condition of dissolved oxygen and pH levels in the estuary but these factors do not have major effect on mussel growth compared to salinity and water temperature. The reference ideal values for a suitable culture site are 27 to 35 psu for salinity; 27 to 30°C for water temperature; >5 mg/L for dissolved oxygen; and 7.7 to 8.4 for pH. Based on this reference values, areas in Buguey estuary have acceptable possibility of success for green mussel culture, which is qualitatively equivalent to having "good" suitability. This translates to a production estimate of 81% to 90% of cultured mussels will have a marketable size. However, these ratings may vary due to competition with existing oyster farming, water depth of the chosen site (since several areas in Buguey estuary are shallow), and other factors.

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