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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Villar cites aquaculture import

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With the decreasing fish supply due to overfishing and other environmental causes, Senator Cynthia Villar cited the importance of aquaculture or fish farming to ensure enough supply of fishes on every Filipino table.

Villar, chairman of the Senate agriculture and food committee, said the World Wildlife Fund Philippines data showed that around 82 million Filipinos relied on fish as a major part of their diet.

It also stated that 75 percent of Philippine waters were already overfished. 

“If we continue to consume fish at this rate, there may be nothing more left in the ocean for future generations,” warned Villar.

“So, there are real threats in the supply of seafood in the whole world. And aquaculture may be the last resort of these warnings became true,” also said Villar, also citing the huge demand for fishes and seafood globally.

Since seafood is the main diet or food of more than three billion people worldwide,  she expressed hope “the share of aquaculture or fish farming in fish production will rise,” she said. 

Aside from food security, she said aquaculture can also be a source of livelihood and can augment the earnings of a family.

Due to this, the senator, through the Villar SIPAG, has been giving to fisherfolks free training to wherein they will learn aquaculture and starting a  small business like the selling of kikiam and fishball and the selling of aquarium or ornamental fishes.

Villar said the training on aquaculture has attracted a lot of participants because of the opportunities it provides not only in the breed and culture of freshwater fishes but also in fish processing technologies and the production of ornamental fishes.

According to Villar, aquaculture training is a popular module among the programs the foundation is offering in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 4A (BFAR 4A).

The senator recently welcomed more than 30 participants from South Luzon at Vintahanan in Muntinlupa for the start of the Training of Trainors on Freshwater Aquaculture.

The five-day training program will cover topics such as biology and culture of tilapia in ponds/cages; fish health management; fish processing; aquaponics; and ornamental fish culture.

The free program will train and equip participants on the various fish processing technologies such as the making of fishball, kikiam, embutido, patty, and nuggets. It will also teach the importance of good manufacturing practices and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures in compliance to food safety.

Participants will also learn from experts how to breed and culture freshwater ornamental fishes and to culture natural/live food for fish. Training facilitators will also demonstrate the mending of the breeding cage and packaging techniques.

The participants are expected to return to their communities as trainers and share their knowledge with other people.

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