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Fish supply seen adequate in 2021

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NEWS 5/SHYLA FRANCISCO

THE supply of fish in 2021 is expected to be adequate due to favorable production trends, though volcanic activity may affect the output of Taal Lake, according to a non-governmental organization.

In a statement Wednesday, Tugon Kabuhayan convenor Asis G. Perez said production from aquaculture, commercial fisheries, and municipal waters typically peaks during the second quarter, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

“Apart from this positive trend, the aquaculture industry is also ready to further contribute in steadying the supply. Last year, the aquaculture sector produced 2.3 million tons or 52.77% of total fisheries production,” Mr. Perez said.

Mr. Perez, a former director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said Tugon Kabuhayan and the Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance, Inc. are also keeping tabs on the recent volcanic activity recorded in Taal.

“While our top priority is the safety of our fisherfolk and aquaculture workers, our group is confident of meeting growing demand. We have plenty of tilapia in Taal Lake and in other parts of the country,” Mr. Perez said.

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Mr. Perez said fish supply is also expected to increase as warmer weather accelerates the fish growth cycle, improving yields.

He added more fish will be available in markets after the closed fishing season for round scad, or galunggong, ended on Jan. 31.

“We’re confident that our population can still be nourished despite increasing prices of most commodities as fish becomes more available and more affordable,” Mr. Perez said.

Meanwhile, Tugon Kabuhayan projected falling fish prices in the next few months based on patterns seen in the previous year, during which the price of galunggong and milkfish, or bangus, fell P50 to P60 per kilogram.

Citing government price monitors, Mr. Perez said aquaculture products such as bangus and tilapia fetched about P170 and P120 per kilogram, respectively, making them more attractive than pork, which is at about P400.

“We have lots of fish. All we need to do is to ensure that we’re able to make it available to consumers, especially in population centers like Metro Manila,” Mr. Perez said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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