THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Davao Region (BFAR-Davao) is keeping a close watch on milkfish or bangus as they noted a decline in its production from 2018.
In the inventory report obtained from BFAR-Davao, the overall fisheries production of the region slightly drop by about one percent from 51,983.43 metric tons (MT) in 2018 to 51,442.81 MT in 2019.
Among the factors that caused the production is milkfish or aquaculture.
Aquaculture dropped from 25,000 MT to 23,000 MT in 2018 and 2015, respectively.
“Some operators have stopped fishing operations for lack of capital,” the report said.
The report also bared that seaweed production declined from 6,928.13 MT in 2018 to 5,469.10 MT in 2019 due to the “occurrence of ‘ice-ice’ disease and water pollution from marine fish cages in Davao del Sur.”
Meanwhile, milkfish production also slightly decreased from 14,000 MT in 2018 to 13,000 MT in 2019 because of the shortage of milkfish in the fry stage.
BFAR-Davao director Fatma Idris said the cold weather has been affecting the reproduction of the milkfish.
“Pag malamig, ang bangus hindi siya mangitlog. So pano tayo mag produce ng fry to fingerlings? So pag wala kang egg, wala (If the weather is cold, milkfishes do not lay eggs. So how can we produce fry and fingerlings if we do not have eggs),” she said.
She said they are also developing hatchery to address their shortage of tanks.
“Yung ginagawa namin minsan, pag may sobrang itlog, tinatapon namin sa dagat kasi wala kaming mga tanke so kulang pa kami ng facilities para isupport doon (Sometimes, if there is an excess of eggs, we throw them to the sea because we do not have enough tank to store them),” she said.
“Meron na kaming dinevelop na additional hatchery, so hopefully, makadagdag so gina-tap din namin other areas para makaproduce ng egg and then fry to fingerlings (We have developed an additional hatchery which we hope will help and we have also tapped other areas to produce milkfish eggs),” she added.
Meanwhile, Idris said these challenges have not affected the prices of the milkfish in the market.
The current prices of milkfish in some public markets in the region ranged from P120 per kilogram (kg) to P170/kg in the last weeks. (RAG)