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New hatchery to boost fishery production

TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN – Northwestern Cagayan now has a steady source of quality fingerlings for fish farming purposes following initial production from the Community-Based Multi-Species Hatchery of the Abulug National School of Fisheries in Centro, Abulug, Cagayan.

The hatchery is a joint project of the school and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Region 02, and was funded under the Philippine National Aquasilviculture Program.

Felix Abugan, project coordinator, pointed out that they started collecting fingerlings since late March and have harvested 40,000 pieces as of this time. The fingerlings were stocked in the school’s fishponds while the succeeding production will be offered for dispersal to fishpond and fish cage operators in the area, Abugan said.

The hatchery produces saline tolerant tilapia using the BEST (Brackishwater Enhanced Saline Tilapia) strain from the BFAR national center in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

In an interview, Mr. Florencio Gauat, school principal, said that the hatchery is “an important instructional facility in aquaculture where students can have hands on training in fish breeding. With the CBMSH the school has made a great advance in its dream of becoming a center of excellence in fingerling production.”

Gauat added that the school’s administration envisions the CBMSH to partly cover the need for training facilities in fisheries of the K to 12 curriculum on its full implementation 2 years from now.

PNAP head and BFAR RO2 ARD Dr. Milagros Morales pointed out that the hatchery is crucial towards the development of the aquaculture potential of northern Cagayan. “The coastal municipalities have very vast potential mainly due to the numerous water bodies doting the area. However, these areas are hardly utilized for fish farming partly due to the inadequate source of quality fingerlings,” Morales explained.

“Actually, we already placed an order to the school for our stocks for techno-demo and livelihood projects,” Morales added.

Apart from saline tilapia, the school also has red tilapia which they plan to breed and introduce in the coming months. Red tilapia can be used as an analogue for more pricey fish like maya-maya and snapper.

The PNAP, a brainchild of BFAR National Director Atty. Asis G. Perez, aims to rehabilitate the mangrove areas of the country for aquasilvi culture, ensure resource sustainability, attain food security and alleviate poverty. (max prudencio BFAR RO2)

The Community Based Multi Species Hatchery in the Abulug National School of Fisheries in Centro, Abulug, Cagayan, Mr. Felix Abugan in background
Red tilapia breeders of the CBMSH (note solid concentration of red coloration).
Saline tolerant tilapia fingerlings produced in the CBMSH.
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