FISH PRICES in Metro Manila have stabilized as closed fishing seasons ended and aquaculture producers filled in supply gaps, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

Agriculture Undersecretary Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero said in a statement that round scad, or galunggong, currently retails for P180 per kilogram, down from its previous price range of P260 to P280 per kilogram.

“Aquaculture… helped us augment supply during our lean months,” Ms. Natividad-Caballero said.

The DA said price monitoring indicates that tilapia and milkfish, or bangus, have remained at P120 per kilogram and P180 per kilogram.

“With the resumption of large supplies of fresh marine commodities in the market, our consumers now have more affordable fish to choose from and put on their tables,” Ms. Natividad-Caballero said.

Closed fishing seasons in major fishing grounds like the Zamboanga Peninsula have ended, reopening the supply pipeline for marine fish like galunggong.

According to the DA, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority recorded 9,506.81 metric tons (MT) of fish unloaded at the Navotas Fish Port Complex during the first 15 days of March.

Marine commodities accounted for 5,743.44 MT, followed by frozen fish products at 2,282.49 MT, and aquaculture at 1,480.88 MT.

“Our abundance of supply now is perfectly in time with our urgent need to ramp up efforts to ensure the nation’s food security as we battle an even stronger challenge from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” Ms. Natividad-Caballero said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave