by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Oceans Ace Philippines Export Import Corporation will start exporting live eel to Japan and Korea from its eel farming culture operation in Hindang, Leyte.
The P18-million facility has been approved by the Board of Investments for tax incentives being an export producer, an activity listed under the Export Activities category of the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).
The eel farm has a capacity to culture up to 2,187,911 pieces annually and export them to Japan and Korea. Commercial operation is expected to start on May, 2017 with 25 workers manning the facility.
Young eels known as elvers (glass eels or fry) will be sourced from local fishermen in Cagayan Valley since elvers prefer big rivers or wide area of water such as the Pacific Ocean. Elvers are then placed in farm tanks in the Leyte facility with the best possible conditions for growth by providing high quality feeds to reach the desired size. Eventually, these grown eels are harvested and packed, ready for export. The grown eels will be exported in boxes of approximately eight to 10 kilograms each.
Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo welcomed the approval of the project saying the project will provide more employment and income opportunities for Filipinos. “Though grown in Cagayan Valley, the proponents of the project decided to locate in a least developed area such as Leyte in an effort to help in the post-typhoon Yolanda recovery initiatives in the Eastern Visayas region,” said Rodolfo.
Eel farming is considered an aquaculture activity that specializes in raising and growing eels to export live at the legal size of 15 centimeters. The types of eel to be farmed in Leyte are the species Anguilla Japonica and Anguilla Bicolor/Pacifica.