The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application for registration of Oceans Ace Philippines Export Import Corporation for its Php18 million live eel farming facility project in Hindang, Leyte.

Approved by BOI as an export producer of live eel under the Export Activities category of the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), the eel farming will have a capacity to culture up to 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 Undersecretary 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.

The farming facility is roughly 350 meters from the national highway in Leyte. The area is around 1,500 square meters. The facility will be composed of 24 units of farm tanks, two units of back-up generators, two units of relaxing aquarium, one unit of feed mixer and one unit of sorting table.