1st state-funded ‘bangus’ hatchery harvests new milkfish fry in Pangasinan
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan –– The first government-funded satellite bangus hatchery in the country has harvested its second batch of bangus fry this week.
The hatchery produced 50,000 fry, some of which were dispersed at the Lingayen beach.
“We hope the fry would survive in the wild and would replenish the depleting fish resources in the gulf,” said hatchery owner Isagani Nicolas.
Nicolas financed the hatchery using a soft loan granted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Ilocos region.
“This is the second batch of larvae (one-day-old bangus eggs) which we reared for 21 days,” Nicolas said. The first batch consisted of 400,000 larvae that were harvested on July 19.
The second batch of fry had a lower survival rate compared to their predecessors, because of frequent power interruptions, Nicolas said. He purchased a power generator that he would use for the succeeding batches.
Nicolas said the hatchery has 16 tanks, four of which are for larval rearing, while the rest are for producing natural food for the fry.
“I also feed them chicken egg yolk, at least two trays every day,” Nicolas said. He sourced the bangus eggs from a farm in Infanta town.
The establishment of satellite hatcheries in different parts of the country is under the five-year Bangus Fry Sufficiency Program of the Department of Agriculture.
Pangasinan is the top bangus producer in the country. In 2019, the province generated 109,893.50 metric tons of milkfish (27 percent of the country’s total production of 409,906.56 metric tons).
The country needs between 2.5 billion to 3 billion fry a year to produce this volume. Local hatcheries, however, could produce only 900 million a year and imports the rest, said Alex Soriano, chairman of the Philippine Milkfish Group (PhilMIG). The major source of fry in the country is Indonesia.
There are five operational bangus satellite hatcheries in the country, two of which are located in Region I. The other three hatcheries are in the province of Bohol.
Under the five-year Bangus Fry Sufficiency Program for 2020-2025, DA intends to put up 299 Satellite Community-Based Larval Rearing Facility in the country.
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