THE cold months of December and January are expected to cause a sharp decline in the production of milkfish (bangus), the top agricultural product in Dagupan and other coastal areas of Pangasinan.
Dr. Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Development Center, a research facility of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Dagupan City, said that bangus is a tropical and a hot water fish species. As such, it is just natural that milkfish do not eat much during cold weather.
"This is the reason why milkfish do not grow fast during the cold season, unlike when the weather is a little bit warmer," he added.
Rosario advised fish farmers to sparingly give feeds to their fry.
He warned that remnants of the uneaten feeds will drop at the bottom of the fish pond and will rot to later cause pollution.
At the same time, he called on fish farmers to reduce the volume of their milkfish in captivity or else transfer others to other ponds.
He said summer is always the best time to raise milkfish.
Fish farmers complain to Rosario that aside from the cold weather, the low level of water in their ponds due to the approaching summer is causing them a lot of worries too.
Meanwhile, vendors at the Magsaysay Fish Market in Dagupan confirmed on December 2 that this phenomenon is the reason for the drop of supply of milkfish in the market, resulting in increased price per kilo of the commodity.
A kilo of milkfish is now being sold in Dagupan from P140 to P150. A big jump from its previous price of P125 early last month. (PNA)