Lobster Culture and Farming

Lobster (Panulirus sp), locally known as banagan, is an expensive priced marine crustacean both in the local and international markets. It is caught using bottom gill nets and the availability of stocks is dependent on a day’s catch.

Lobster farming is a lucrative and viable livelihood, especially for coastal residents. Premium gourmet meals are incomplete without the mouth-watering lobsters.

  • There are three species of lobsters: tiger lobster (Panulirus ornatus) which is distinguished by its spotted legs;
  • Bamboo lobster (Panulirus versicolor) which has striped legs that resembles that of a bamboo trunk; and
  • Adik-adik lobster (Panulirus edulis) which is identified by its reddish back.

The most common lobster farmed are the tiger and bamboo lobsters.

Methods of Site Selection and Pen Construction:

  1. Select a site considering the following criteria:
    • Has moderate water current and sandy ground;
    • Has a depth of water level should be one meter high during low tide and two meters during high tide;
    • Has high marine water salinity.
  2. Construct a pen about 20 sqm (for 200 lobster fingerlings). The pen may be established near the residence of the fisher for easy monitoring.
  3. Install bamboo poles underwater to serve as corners for the pen.
  4. Enclose the pen with a plastic net. Cover the ground with net to prevent lobsters from escaping.
  5. Tie the plastic net using a nylon twine.
  6. Construct firm corners and walling using bamboo slats/coconut slabs or any seawater-resistant material to protect pen from strong current and waves.
  7. Cover the top portion of the pen with bamboo slats. Provide small opening with a removable cover for feeding and harvesting.


  1. Weigh lobster fingerlings before stocking. Lobsters with 150-200 gms can be stocked in the pen at a density of 10 pieces per square meter.
  2. Drop carefully and individually the finger-lings into the pen to avoid defacing the appendages of the fingerlings. Stocking should be done during high tide.
  3. Stock fingerlings of the same size. Lobsters are carnivorous. The bigger ones can eat small lobsters.

Feeding and Maintenance

  1. Feed the lobster once a day preferably in the morning with any kind of fish trash or fresh seaweed. Feeds should be chopped into small pieces.
  2. Using a bolo, clean the pen twice a month to remove sediments and barnacles that stick the net.


  1. Harvest lobsters six to ten months (approximately 900-1000 gms/pc) after
  2. Harvest lobsters by gently scooping using nets to avoid damage to the species.
  3. Place newly-harvested lobsters in basin filled with seawater before packing.


  1. Wrap lobsters in paper pre-soaked with saline water.
  2. Arrange and pile gently in styroboxes filled with ice to prolong freshness.
  3. Cover the styroboxes and seal with packaging tape.

For more information, contact:

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
PCA Building, Elliptical Road
Diliman, Quezon City
Phone: (02) 929-8074/9597
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.bfar.gov.ph

SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department
Tigbauan 5021, Iloilo, Philippines
Phones: (033) 336-2965, (033) 5119170 to 71
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.seafdec.org.ph

source: Marid Digest, photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

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