The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources started a five-year satellite hatchery for milkfish to reduce the sector’s dependence on imported fries — a recently hatched fish used in aquaculture.
The Bangus Fry Sufficiency Program, which will run until 2025, will see the creation of 299 satellite community-based larval rearing facilities nationwide.
The milkfish industry faces a deficit of 2.8 billion locally sourced fries annually, which the agency said forces fish farmers to import fries.
Last year, only 861 million fries were produced by registered milkfish hatcheries. During the same period, the local industry produced only 410,000 metric tons of the fish variant or 17.4 percent of the annual total aquaculture production of the country.
In July, the program already yielded 110,000 bangus fry in Lingayen, Pangasinan, which was sold to milkfish farmers in the province at thirty centavos apiece.