Free Tilapia fry were given to recipients who were mostly poor fish upland farmers operating small ponds and backyard earthen ponds.
For those who can afford, each fry was sold at .35 to .45 centavos depending on the size that earned the agency P9, 116 in 2012.
BFAR Technical Staff Maria Jill Sajo said requests for their fingerlings have hiked with about 20,000 more requests not granted due to fry shortage.
One reason she cited is the aging brood stock that produce lower spooning rate as the fish mature. The previous 200 eggs per brood fish can produce, for example, will now only produce 100 eggs during spooning season.
Clients were referred to BFAR assisted hatcheries to fill up the need and provide the demand in the market.
An inventory of its Tilapia Fingerling Distribution Programs shows the office pond has 110 females and 58 males for the saline tolerant strain and 163 females and 52 males for fresh water strain.
This year, the office has already distributed 23,000 fingerlings between January to April.