“Kiwet” population in the province reduce - Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
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“Kiwet” population in the province reduce

By on October 28, 2016

Is swamp eel or rice eel (monopterus albus) and better known as “kiwet” helpful or destructive?


To those who do not know what “kiwet” looks like? It has a scaless, anguilliform (snake-like) body that grows to a meter or less, typically 25 to 40 cm as an adult. As a rice eel, it has a tapering tail and blunt snout, and lacks pectoral and pelvic fins. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are rudimentary, with the caudal fin often absent. These fins serve to protect the rice eel against rolling, and assist in sudden turns and stops. Its gill membranes are fused, but one v-shaped gill is located beneath the head. Such a shape prevents reverse flow. Its body and head dark, with dark olive or brown dorsal coloring and light orange ventral coloring. This coloration camouflages the aquatic predator; however, some are brightly colored with yellow, black, and gold spots.

For some “kiwet” is helpful because they use to market it to earn money and some use it for daily consumption. But for the farmers, it is destructive because it destroys their rice fields.


During the media conference with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) last October 17 at Carig, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, Qurino Pascua, Provincial Fisheries Officer for Nueva Vizcaya reported that during their intervention that started last 2012, the “kiwet” population in the province was already reduced as BFAR Post-harvest and Marketing Division introduced the value adding of the “kiwet” which they also called surplus.

“Halos wala ng makuhang kiwet sa Nueva Vizcaya because nong surplus ng occurrence ng kiwet eh ang daming nag-invest for market kasi malakas ang market nya sa Manila until such time that the kiwet had buy and aid,” (sic) said Pascua. #mccd

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