November 30, 2016 (Ngatpang, Palau) The first local commercial aquaculture farm held a soft-opening on Wednesday, to showcase their farm’s first rabbit fish (Kelsebuul) production yield of over 1000 pieces of commercial value.
According to Mr. Hiromi Nabeyama, it takes only five months for the fish to reach marketable size. The survivability rate is very high and he expects to yield 2000 more pieces of fish in the next five months. “We sell the fish at 3 dollars per pound, and with requests flooding in, I predict that even with this kind of productivity, we are going to experience a shortage of supply against the current demand. I’ll just have to produce more fish.” Nabeyama says.
The Nabeyama family is expanding their farm from existing 3 to 6 ponds by adding 3 more ponds. These are expected to be completed by January 2017.
“This project is a perfect complement to the conservation efforts we are practicing to rely less on catching fish from the wild. Rather than catching 1000 Kelsebuul from the wild, this project allows wild fish to grow sustainably in the mangroves while we supplement the demand with locally grown fish.” I hope that all interested farmers take advantage of the opportunity given at the NDBP,” Stated President Remengesau during the soft-opening at the farm.
The Nabeyama family is a recipient of the NDBP Aquaculture and Agriculture Loan Program. Initially loaning $10, 000.00 through the program, the family started excavation of their mangrove area in May 2016, constructing three fish ponds to grow Golden-lined spinefoot Rabbit Fish (Kelsebuul).
The program is promoted under the food security development policy of the national government through NDPB. It offers low interest loans for agriculture and aquaculture projects. The fund of $5 million was made available for this program through the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The Nabeyama Aquaculture Farm now boasts a Mangrove Crab farm, a Giant Clam farm, and is currently testing a Red Snapper (Keremlal) farm within their main mangrove channel. [/restrict]