AFTER a successful trial brought a bountiful harvest of bangus (milkfish) from the sea, the Municipality of Bantayan is now poised to expand its mariculture project to its coastal barangays next year.

On its Facebook page, the Municipality of Bantayan said its homegrown bangus also tastes so good that Department of Agriculture Central Visayas Officer-in-Charge Regional Executive Director Joel Elumba has advised the town to brand it.

Elumba was in the municipality Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021 to witness the harvest of the bangus from the waters off Bantayan.

On Thursday, Cebu 4th District Rep. Janice Salimbangon took part in a bangus tasting at the Cebu Technical University Campus in Barangay Bantigue and also sang its praises, the town said.

The town’s bangus was cooked three ways—sinugba (grilled), paksiw (cooked with vinegar) and sinigang (sour stew)—and Salimbangon was said to have remarked that unlike bangus grown in fishponds, Bantayan’s bangus did not have a muddy taste.

Funded by the private sector, the bangus culture trial, supported by the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) at no cost to the municipal government, was undertaken as part of preparations for a multi-species hatchery project.

Bantayan Mayor Arthur Despi targets production of 10 million fingerlings of bangus, pompano, danggit, kitong and blue swimming crabs for the hatchery project.

The multi-species hatchery is set to be inaugurated in December.

By growing the seafood instead of just catching it at sea, the town aims to increase its seafood production and address hunger.

With the success of the trial, Despi said the bangus culture would now be replicated in four pilot sites—Barangays Baod, Hilotongan, Doong and Luyong Baybay—where fishpens would be installed.

Earlier this month, Bfar 7 also worked with fishermen in Moalboal town, Cebu for bangus culture.

From Nov. 16-19, members of Moalboal’s Balabagon Fishermen Association underwent training from the Bfar 7-Cebu Provincial Fishery Office on the building of a floating fish cage for their bangus culture.