SoCot opens multi-species fish hatchery

HATCHERY.The PHP1.5 million multi-species fish hatchery established by the provincial government of South Cotabato in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 12 (Soccsksargen). The construction of the facility, which is situated at the Provincial Scion, Grove, Nursery, Research, Production and Demonstration Farm in Sitio Pedregosa, Barangay Reyes, Banga town, is funded under Republic Act 11494 or Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. (Photo courtesy of the provincial government)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY –South Cotabato province’s thriving inland fisheries sector has received a major boost with the establishment of a PHP1.5 million multi-species fish hatchery funded by the national government.

Rommel Eladia, field operations division head of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said Friday they have started the full operation of the fish hatchery, which was constructed in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Funded under Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, the facility is situated within the eight-hectare Provincial Scion, Grove, Nursery, Research, Production and Demonstration Farm in Sitio Pedregosa, Barangay Reyes, Banga town.

Eladia said the hatchery was formally turned over by BFAR 12 (Soccsksargen) to the provincial government early this week.

“We are now in the process of hatching and growing hito (catfish) fingerlings,” he told reporters.

Eladia said the hatchery could produce 50,000 to 100,000 fingerlings per cycle and this would be done year-round.

He said the facility is equipped to spawn other species and they are planning to expand by next year to tilapia and fish varieties.

Eladia said they are currently crafting the guidelines for the distribution of the fingerlings to fisherfolk and other interested residents that would start early next year.

“It will be given for free (to) our fisherfolk and farmers who want to venture into fish pond operation,” he said.

Eladia said they are hoping that more farmers and residents would be encouraged to go into inland fish production and related businesses as the area would have a substantial supply of fingerlings.

He said hito production is a viable business venture, with the price per kg. of its live weight reaching PHP130 to PHP150.

Fisherfolk and other interested individuals may write a letter request to their office to avail of the free fingerlings.

“They will be then evaluated if they are qualified for our services,” he said.

Aside from spawning hito and other fish species, Eladia said the hatchery would serve as a learning site for fisherfolk, farmers, and other interested individuals.

He said it would be among the showcases at the demonstration farm, which is being developed by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and concerned provincial government offices into a farm tourism site.

The farm has integrated fish ponds, a nursery and plantation area for various tropical fruits, and a crop trial site. (PNA)



Source: Business Diary Philippines

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