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Increasing Fish Yields Quell Shortage Concerns

PHILIPPINES - In a bid to allay fears of fish food shortages the Philippines Government has issues data on projected yields - which are expected top reach 5.3 million metric tons this year.

Benjamin FS Tabios Jr., Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) assistant director for administrative services, said they projected fisheries production to grow by none percent - from 4.9 million metric tons last year to 5.3 million metric tons this year. Mindanao is expected to contribute more than a third of this production.

According to the SunStar, on data that he provided, Mindanao's contribution to the national should reach 2.2 million metric tons, or 41.5 percent of the projected national output for 2008. The aquaculture sector is expected to contribute at least half of the country's annual fisheries production target, with the main drivers as tilapia, bangus, shrimps/pawns and seaweeds. Seaweed production is expected to yield 1.8 million metric tons this year.

"We're redirecting our fish food security efforts from marine capture to aquaculture, especially among our municipal fishers"
Benjamin FS Tabios, Assistant Director for Administrative Services, BFAR

"We're redirecting our fish food security efforts from marine capture to aquaculture, especially among our municipal fishers," Tabios said

However, the Kilusang Mangingisda, which comprises 14 fishing industry federations, warned the country to brace for a "worsening fish food production deficit". The problems, it says, is due to growing population, over fishing and unsustainable aquaculture practices.

Ruperto B. Aleroza, Kilusang Mangingisda chairman, said that data from the Comprehensive National Fishery Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP) showed an expected increase in the demand for fish from 2.6 million metric tons in 2005 to 4.2 million metric tons by 2025.

"This increase is based on the individual Filipino's average yearly fish consumption of 31.4 kilos multiplied by 135 million Filipinos, the expected population by 2025 at a yearly growth rate of 2.36 percent," he explained.

View the SunStar story by clicking here.