Quantcast
Latest Stories

BFAR brings forth ‘red pacu’ as edible treat


DAGUPAN CITY—The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has introduced “red pacu,” an exotic aquarium fish, as an edible variety that could also help in controlling the growth of water hyacinths that clog rivers.

The BFAR research center here on Wednesday held a cooking festival that featured recipes of red pacu, locally known as “tambaqui,” as part of the activities for the fishery week celebration.

Westly Rosario, BFAR center chief, said red pacu (Colossoma bidens), a native of the Amazon River in South America, was introduced in the Philippines as an aquarium fish.

He said red pacu is an herbivorous species and farmers can raise these by feeding them with grass, gabi or malunggay leaves, flowers and plants, including those rejected by carabaos, and even leftovers.

“It is easy to breed and easy to grow. And since it eats anything, we can produce fish protein without the expensive commercial feed. This is a good alternative to bangus (milkfish), which is expensive to produce as 60 percent of the expenses [go to] commercial feed,” he said.

Among the dishes prepared from red pacu were sisig, kilawin, caldereta, kare-kare and even burger. There were also steamed pacu with lemongrass, “pacurry” (red pacu curry), red pacu in chili tomato sauce, Hawaiian red pacu pizza, pan de pacu, pacu-loco wrapped in taro leaves and red pacu pastel.

Rosario said the fish could be introduced in rivers to control water hyacinths as it could eat the water plants that clog waterways and cause flooding.

“We gathered water hyacinths in a river and put them in a pond. After a week, all the hyacinths were gone, eaten by the fish,” he said.

The BFAR said red pacu can grow to .75 meter long (2.46 feet) in the wild.

However, tests showed the red pacu did not reproduce in captivity and had to be injected with hormones to enable them to breed.

Nevafe Muyalde, BFAR researcher on the species, said several trials were conducted to make the fish reproduce but it was only through hormonal injections that red pacu was able to produce eggs.

The breeding of red pacu at the BFAR center started five years ago when a private collector donated 10 pieces of the fish.

Rosario said a kilogram of red pacu can grow to a foot long in a year. “It is best eaten at year old because its flesh becomes hard when it becomes older,” he said.

Except for its teeth structure, the red pacu closely resembles the highly carnivorous piranha.

“This is why it was difficult to import red pacu because it looked like piranha, which is banned in the Philippines,” Rosario said. He said the red pacu’s teeth are not sharp and pointed like those of the piranha’s. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) , exotic aquarium fish , red pacu , Water hyacinths


  • Anonymous

    Hooray, finally the BFAR has found a solution to the clogging of rivers and creeks by water hyacinths. But on the other hand, these water lilies can be used as raw materials for quality handicrafts that can be exported. The TESDA or DTI must do something to train individuals on how to make use of these plants, which are believed to causing inundation in most parts of Luzon. The red pacu species will also serve as a delectable recipe in the kitchen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZEEYFHKU3Z742OV2FOGL72P7ZU Loggnat

    ‘As tropical fish, pacu will die in cold weather; as newcomers to an
    ecosystem, pacu may out-compete native species for available food,
    habitat, and other resources, or displace them by introducing exotic
    parasites or diseases. Most wildlife resource authorities prohibit
    releasing exotic fish, including pacu, into the wild.’ from Wikipedia. Do you really want this fish introduced to the Philippine rivers and lakes?

    ‘He ( Westly Rosario, BFAR center chief) said the red pacu’s teeth are not sharp and pointed like those of the piranha’s.’ According to Wikipedia “While they are not aggressive carnivores like the piranha, their crushing jaw system, used primarily for eating seeds and nuts, can be hazardous. One toddler needed surgery after a pacu (misreported as a piranha) bit her finger at Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World in Scotland. Commenting on the incident, Deep Sea World zoological manager Matthew Kane warned “Pacus will eat anything, even children’s wiggling fingers.”[5]
    Another such incident occurred when a 60 cm (24-inch) Pacu (named Pacu)
    jumped out of his tank in Fort Worth, TX and bit the nose of his owner. Here’s another reason why not. :))

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EBSZDFXJVWHIGHW5V7AQL4VLFA Kenneth S.

    According to the report: “Aquaculture In Papua New Guinea Status of freshwater fish farming” (2007) by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the Red Pacu (C. bidens) released into the Sepik River in the mid 1990′s have become an invasive species. From an herbivore they have become fish/flesh eaters. Anecdotal evidence from local people indicates that the introduced Pacu have decimated the once prosperous Tilapia fishery by  feeding on its fry. Incidents of human attacks have also been reported. Full report at http://aciar.gov.au/files/node/2317/MN125%20Chapter%201-3.pdf

    The show Animal Planet has featured the Red Pacu in Papua New Guinea as a “River Monster” For the story and link to videos go to http://animal.discovery.com/fish/river-monsters/red-bellied-pacu.html

    Video of Pacu chasing then eating feeder goldfish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2aIGLcZWhI



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • Sports

  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement