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Fish Sector Aiming at Record Output

PHILIPPINES - Aquaculture and anti-poaching measure are expected to boost fish output in local fisheries this years. Target production is expected to hit a record 5.3 million metric tons, says the Philippines Agriculture Ministry.

Around 2.7 million MT are estimated to come from the aquaculture sector, 1.15 million MT from commercial fisheries, and 1.48 million MT from municipal fishing.

"There are also plans to expand seaweed farming; the propagation of high value species such as abalone, sea urchins and sea cucumbers, and Pacific white shrimp.

"Ther will also be a more aggressive enforcement of anti-poaching and illegal fishing and sustained resource conservation efforts," said Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap.

Last year, the fisheries industry registered its biggest growth of 6.81 percent among agriculture subsectors. Gross production value reached P180.7 billion at current prices. Accounting for 25.44 percent of total agriculture output, fisheries production last year reached some 4.7 million MT.