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Philippines Brings Ulang Culture to Fisherfolk

PHILIPPINES - The Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is introducing the culture of "ulang" in some municipalities here to provide extra income and additional food sources to Aklan's fisherfolks

"Ulang" culture, one of the many programs of BFAR to help insure food security in the county, is also seen as the government's way of putting up alternative sources of fish or food sources, so marine resources would not be so depleted and will have time to produce enough grown fish for consumption of the population, according to Alicia L Robello, Aquaculturist II of BFAR-Aklan.

"If the government will not move to effect measures for fish conservation and culture, our fish sources will be depleted, because there is more consumption than production," Robello revealed when she guested recently at Kapihan Sa RMN-Kalibo, a weekly program of the Philippine Information Agency aired over DYKR here. With her was Rico B. Magno, Technical Staff of BFAR-Aklan.

"If the government will not move to effect measures for fish conservation and culture, our fish sources will be depleted"
Alicia L Robello, Aquaculturist II of BFAR-Aklan

Robello also said that although there is no shortage of fish and marine products in markets in Aklan, people suffer from high prices, because most of the better catch is brought to Boracay Island. Aklan has to source supplies from nearby provinces too, according to Robello.

Besides "Ulang" culture, BFAR is also sustaining other programs for fish and marine products conservation and production like the putting of artificial reefs, seaweeds production, abalone and grouper culture, Palayamanan, and catfish and tilapia culture.

For "ulang" culture, Robello said BFAR has already distributed "ulang" fries to Santander, Buruanga, Janlud, Libacao, and Badio, Numancia.

The "ulang" fries are hybrid and sourced outside the province.

Robello said the culture of "ulang" was already tried in Tangalan but the pond was destroyed when Typhoon Frank struck the province last June 21.

The "ulang" culture in Aklan, which Robello admitted is on its infancy stage, is seen to be boosted when a hatchery will be established in an identified inland municipality in Aklan.

The establishment of an "ulang" hatchery in Aklan is seen to lessen the cost of bringing the fries in the province, including mortality of the fries.

According to BFAR, "ulang' has at least 15 species in the country, and there are also wild varieties in the province' rivers.

The hybrid "ulang", according to BFAR, takes 6 months to mature, and ideal for export. It is omnivorous and economical and easy to raise and maintain.