Senator Cynthia Villar has underscored the importance of establishing local marine hatcheries in towns and rural areas to produce fingerlings to be given to small fishermen.
“It is also necessary for the propagation of certain marine species to address the country’s dependence on imported fingerlings, like bangus, tilapia, mangrove crabs, pampano, shrimp, lapu-lapu, danggit and other high-value marine species,” Villar said.
“It will provide seeds to be utilized for aquaculture,” she added. Villa is chairperson of the Senate agriculture and food committee.
In yesterday’s hearing on bills establishing local hatcheries, Villar noted that the aquaculture sector plays a vital role in ensuring the country’s food security, generating employment opportunities, and contributing to foreign exchange earnings.
In recent times, she said aquaculture has experienced substantial growth, surpassing the captured fisheries. “By providing support to the aquaculture industry, will lead to the development of our fisheries industry in general.”
She cited the latest report of the Philippines Statistics Authority, in 2022, which shows that aquaculture contributed 2.246 million metric tons (MT) out of 4.248M MT total fishery production or 54.15 percent.
For the first quarter of 2023, the contribution of aquaculture further increased to 55 percent, or 545,640 MT out of the 991,140 MT total fishery production.
Due to this, Villar said it was critical for the government to give importance to the industry of aquaculture farming.