Credit to Author: EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ| Date: Thu, 16 May 2019 17:09:35 +0000
THE country’s total fish production grew 0.9 percent to 1.01 million metric tons (MMT) in the first quarter of 2019 compared to year-ago output, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
The figure, however, was significantly lower than the 2-percent growth forecast set by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
In its latest Fisheries Situation Report, PSA said growth was seen in commercial fisheries and municipal fisheries subsectors while a decline was noted in aquaculture.
Fish yielded by commercial fisheries, accounting 21.6 percent of the total output, reached 218,980 MT, 1.2 percent higher from 216,320 MT in the same period last year.
Municipal fisheries contributed 269.46 MMT, up 5.7 percent from last year’s 255 MMT. Of this, 86.3 percent came from marine fisheries while the rest from inland fisheries. Municipal fisheries contributed 26.6 percent to total fish production.
Aquaculture production, meanwhile, fell by 1.5 percent to 526,050 MT as compared to year-ago’s 534,010 MT. The subsector, however, took the largest share of 51.9 percent of total fisheries output.
During the three-month period, roundscad and skipjack, among the seven major species, showed higher output by 36.2 percent to 53,260 MT and 6.5 percent to 72,761 MT, respectively compared with the same period a year ago.
Other major species that exhibited lower production included yellowfin tuna (13.9 percent), milkfish (4.7 percent), tilapia (3.2 percent), tiger prawn (0.9 percent) and seaweed (0.7 percent).
Based on PSA’s first quarter report on the performance of Philippine agriculture, the fisheries subsector generated P63.5 billion, contributing 13.45 percent to the total agricultural production in January-March period.
BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona earlier said the impacts of weak El Niño to the country’s fisheries sector would be ‘very minimal’.
Gongona said the hike in local production is a result of the opening of fishing season for sardines in the waters off the Zamboanga Peninsula last March, following a three-month fishing ban to allow the undisturbed reproduction of sardines.
To boost local fish production, Gongona earlier said BFAR would continue to maintain the 60-percent production in captured fisheries while improving the 40 percent from aquaculture farming, “so that by next year, the agency will continue positive trend in production.”