THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ (BFAR) next five-year plan has set aggressive targets for shellfish and crab output, with more modest goals for other segments of the fishing industry, the Agriculture department said.

Shellfish were set a target for output gains of 250% by the end of the five-year period, while mangrove crab production had a goal of 500% growth. Both commodities had exceeded their targets between 2016 and 2020.

Commercial fishing production was set a growth target of 4%, while that of municipal fisheries had a goal of 5% growth. The growth target for production of bangus or milkfish was 6%.

The post-harvest segment of the fisheries industry was set a goal of reducing losses by a 10%, and an 80% compliance rate on hygiene and sanitation standards for all fish processing establishments.

The emphasis of the plan is “large-scale production, commercialization and consolidation,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said in a statement.

“This endeavor shall serve as an impetus in improving the productivity of the fisheries sector, while empowering stakeholders, especially fisherfolk, towards food security, inclusive growth, and global competitiveness,” he added.

The trade and marketing segment of the industry was tasked with upgrading market linkages, developing capacity, and improving access to credit.

The four major fisheries segments are aquaculture, marketing, post-harvest and the capture fishery.

“The bureau has consolidated (industry inputs) to serve as a guide to both policy makers and program implementers towards the sustainable management and development of the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources for the next five years,” the BFAR added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson