Sagay City officials eye lobster spawning project

Sagay City Vice Mayor Rafael Cueva (right) shows the rare lobster variety from the Sagay Marine Reserve. (Photo from I love Sagay FB page)

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The city government of Sagay in northern Negros is embarking on pioneering a rare lobster spawning project in Negros Island.

The project will initiate the breeding of rare varieties of the crustacean in the Sagay Marine Reserve (SMR).

Vice Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva, who led the initiative, said that “it signifies our commitment to preserving marine biodiversity and securing a thriving ecosystem for future Sagaynons.”

Cueva further said that through this program, more economic opportunities and innovations in sustainability would be introduced to SMR and Sagay as a whole.

Mayor Narciso Javelosa Jr. assured his support for the program and vowed to convene with the SMR council in support of the project.

Rep. Alfredo D. Marañon III (2nd district,  Negros Occ.), chairperson of the House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources in the House of Representatives, commended the initiative for its proactive approach in addressing the decline of rare lobster species.

“It aligns with our shared vision of sustainable fisheries and marine conservation, will bolster the lobster population and also serve as a model for other coastal communities in promoting responsible aquaculture practices,” Marañon said.

The Sagay City Environment and Natural Resources Office led the project of breeding two rare lobster varieties at SMR which aims to help in replenishing lobster stock in Negros.

These varieties are two Spiny Lobster types which are Tiger Lobster (Panulirus Ornatus) and Live Bamboo Lobster (Panulirus Versicolor) which will be bred in underwater cages at Sagay Marine Reserve.

SCENRO Head Mayo Antonio Cueva said that this innovation shows the city government’s pursuit of environmental sustainability while helping the local economy by enhancing rare lobster stock in SMR.

The SMR Office has already initiated the release of three female and two male spawns of bamboo lobster breeders weighing 1.7 kilograms each on Nov. 24.

On Dec. 20, 2023, two more female and a male tiger lobster breeder spawns weighing two kilos each were released at the marine reserve.

The lobster breeders were placed in an open-type cage system submerged at sea which allows them to have a conducive environment for spawning while maintaining their natural habitat.

Cueva also said that they are currently observing the survival rate of the released lobster eggs and they are hopeful for the project’s success in the long run.

As for every 50,000 eggs during the post-larval stage, only about 2 lobsters are expected to survive to legal size, he further said.