Aquaculture for all

Fish Farmers Asked to Raise High-value Fish Species

Economics Politics +2 more

PHILIPPINES - Fish farmers in the Filipino region of Pangasinan, particularly in Dagupan, have been asked to variegate their products to boost traditional harvests of milkfish (bangus) and tilapia.

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The fish farmers were asked to do so by Dr Westly Rosario, chief of the government-owned National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center (NIFTDC). Dr Rosario said that there are other fish species of high value that can be raised in fishponds at more profitable rates.

He said that one of them is seabass which sells at P250 and above per kilo, which costs more than milkfish and tilapia.

According to Balita, seabass are found adaptable in brackish waters of Dagupan and Pangasinan, and have caught the fancy of many local fish farmers.

Unfortunately, the fish farmers appear reluctant to raise this kind of fish as they do not know where to source out the fingerlings that they will stock in their fishponds.

Dr Rosario commented on NIFTDC's success in breeding seabass and said that the Centre now sells fingerlings at the nominal price of P5 per piece.

Dr Rosario said that although seabass is carnivorous, there is a culture technique where fish farmers no longer need to feed the fish with the costlier trash fish.

He added that raising shrimps of the vannamae species, also called white shrimp, is far more profitable than growing tilapia.

He said that there is now a technology to harvest from six to ten tons of vannamae even if the pond is just 2,500m2 in area.

Since most shrimp exporting countries are currently affected by a fatal disease called Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), it is about time the Philippines will be more serious in raising shrimp called vannamae and aim for exports as well.

Various seafood products – particularly shrimps – can be processed at the Seafood Processing Plant in the Philippines for foreign export.

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