Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Farming the Tridachna (Taklobo)

Abe V Rotor

The taklobo is now a threatened species.
Graduate students from the University of
Santo Tomas visit a taklobo farm in Masinloc,
Zambales, 2010

Taklobo shell as holy water receptacle.
Mount Carmel Church, QC

One way to spend a summer is to visit marine projects such as a Tridachna or taklobo farm. Farming the sea includes seaweeds such as

Caulerpa or lato, green seaweed, ar-arusip in Iloko
Porphyra or gamet, red seaweed, also known as nori in Japan
Codium or pokpoklo, green seaweed
Gracillaria or guraman (Ilk), brown seaweed
Eucheuma or guso, brown seaweed

Fish cage culture of grouper and mullet has become popular in many parts of the world. And now, genetically modified salmon which lost its homing and free range characteristics by crossing genetic materials of unrelated species.

The earliest attempt to farm the sea is by building fishponds, converting estuaries and swamps into fishponds. But in large and open shallow areas, fish pens and cages, became more feasible. Prawn, milkfish, catfish, tilapia are among the common species raised.

Shellfish like oysters and green mussels are grown in the estuaries, and the traditional way of using bamboo and rope on which the juvenile shellfish cling to has not changed. Perhaps the most sophisticated marine farming is pearl culture, where pearl formation is induced.

Today, farming has spilled over seas, estuaries, rivers and lakes, after conventional frontiers have been conquered, threatening ecological balance, and pitting farming and environmental conservation as strange bedfellows. Runaway population, growing affluence, advances in science and technology are all aimed at the so-called Good Life. We are wrong.

The taklobo is a natural indicator of our planet's health. It is now a threatened species . Out there in its natural habitat one could hardly find a taklobo. Soon only its fossil can be found either in the museum or in the church as receptacle of Holy Water.~

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