In the government’s effort to boost the country’s aquaculture production by providing more local sources of fry, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, in partnership with the Local Government of Perez in Quezon, inaugurated today, December 13, 2021, a new multi-species marine hatchery constructed in the municipality in compliance with Republic Act 10945.

DA-BFAR key officials were joined by Quezon Fourth District Rep. Angelina D.L. Tan and other officials from the municipal and provincial government of Quezon in a ceremony that highlighted the completion of the Phase 1 construction of the hatchery amounting to 20 million pesos, and the turn-over of additional budget of 15 million pesos for the initial operation and maintenance of the current facility towards the Phase 2 construction.

Located in Brgy. Villamanzano Sur, the said government aquaculture facility is the first ever established legislated hatchery projected to produce 25 million pieces of milkfish fry annually. These fry will then be transferred to nursery ponds in nearby areas. Produced fry from the hatchery will be eventually supplied to cage operators in mariculture parks in Alabat, Perez, Padre Burgos and other municipalities of Quezon, consequently reducing the necessity to import fry from other regions or countries.

The Project started in June 2020 with a Memorandum of Agreement forged between the DA-BFAR Regional Fisheries Office 4A and LGU Perez, under which the DA-BFAR 4A provided the funding while the LGU provided the tenurial requirements.

Designed in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center – Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD), the infrastructure currently covers 1,500 square meters of the total 4,800 square meters land allocated for the project, setting aside area for future expansion for culture of other alternate species such as crabs, shrimps, pompano and grouper. Further, the project provides a training facility for students, individuals, or groups interested in putting up bangus hatcheries for their livelihood.

Having a new source of fry within the province offers a number of benefits for the local aquaculture community such as lower cost of fry, which also means lower operating capital for the fish farmers, emergence of more nurseries and grow-out areas in the province, more revenue to the LGU and more opportunities for employment to the community.

In the first two years of implementation, the DA-BFAR 4A shall manage the facility while providing technical skills to local government personnel who shall eventually take full responsibility upon its transfer to LGU Perez.

The hatchery in Perez is one of the targeted ten (10) legislated hatcheries in the 4th District of Quezon aimed to support the aquaculture industry and address fry supply issues in the region.

Under the Legislated Hatcheries Program of the DA-BFAR conceived through the initiative of the Philippine legislative body, 37 hatcheries and aquaculture facilities under 27 Republic Acts are set to be established nationwide. The program is also in parallel with one of the key strategies under Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s ‘OneDA Reform Agenda,’ which seeks to modernize the agri-fisheries sector through infrastructure investments.

Before the year ends, the DA-BFAR is set to complete one multi-species hatchery and three mangrove crab nurseries in Lanao Del Norte and Catanduanes for operation, while the remaining 32 is expected to be completed next year.