BFAR exceeds tilapia production for 2020
CORTES, Bohol, Oct. 28 (PIA) — As early as the third quarter of 2020, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Bohol Provincial Fisheries Office reported a million more production of tilapia fingerlings over its target for the year.
Provincial Fisheries Officer Candido Samijon said this is despite the fact that most government agencies extending services to communities have reported reduced accomplishment due to the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The pandemic did not stop us from implementing projects especially those that contribute to the fishery industry, considering that food security has to be assured while people are staying in their homes,” Samijon said during the Kapihan sa PIA.
Samijon came to the Kapihan along with team members and aqua-technicians Mark Anthony Milana and Ana Liza Casquejo.
The stay-at-home order have kept people from going out, and spawned a trend for planting ornamentals, garden vegetables, and fruits.
In the farms, where people have regained access as long as they are involved in food production, people have gone to the extreme limits, creatively scouring out what can still be done.
Samijon said in their hatchery in Clarin, for example, their production target is six million tilapia fingerlings, but they are now producing over seven million.
“The other day, we noted that Clarin facility has pending requests of almost a million more fingerlings,” Samijon revealed during the one-hour radio program aired live on DyTR and 92.7 Bee FM on delayed broadcast.
Asked where these requests come from, he said is from people who start their backyard fisheries with a dug plot as small as a meter by two meters and at least 80 centimeters deep which can get 500 tilapia fingerlings as well as thousands for tilapia raisers who raise the fish to sell.
“We were still affected by the pandemic as our procurement program suffered,” he explained, adding that apart from fish dispersal, BFAR is also providing entire fish cage packages, drift nets, fish corral packages, deep sea fish aggregating devices and still a wide selection that community and fisheries organizations can opt to use to reduce the strain in illegal fisheries and over-exploitation of the sea resources.
A huge part of the BFAR Bohol response is heaping up support for upland tilapia which farmers grow in farm impounding systems, creeks with deeper pools, and farmers who choose to dig for their own fishponds to help support food production.
“Now, we have seen a rise in upland tilapia consumption that even our wet markets now have tilapia stocks, a thing that you could not find then,” the fisheries officer noted.
In response to the need for more fingerlings especially in areas far from their facilities, BFAR said they have re-opened an abandoned tilapia hatchery in eastern Bohol.
“Last Tuesday, we were in Cadapdapan Candijay to revive a tilapia hatchery which a people’s organization have asked for,” he said.
The people’s organization, composed of tilapia raisers and start-up farmers, partnered with BFAR and volunteered to clean up the facility’s breeding tanks to keep the tilapia seeding fingerlings in that part of Bohol.
For that, BFAR said they gave 400 breeders and for the 28 farmer beneficiaries, some 35,000 fingerlings.
While the older tilapia breeds were of inferior kind, the new tilapia crossbreeds feature thick and tastier meat, good palatability and fast growth, which is good for commercial production.
“In three months, our tilapia dispersals can grow three to a kilo,” Samijon said.
As commercial feeds now discourage growers, BFAR has also pushed for organic feeding which constitute azolla and duckweed which can supplement the feeds cost for a month or two.
BFAR, during the Kapihan sa PIA, also called for daily fish conservation instead of the annual commemoration which the country’s fisheries bureau leads in commemorating every third week of September.
Samijon said fish conservation should be done every day, as populations tend get their protein requirements from the sea. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)