Of the 37 multi-species hatcheries and aquaculture facilities to be constructed nationwide under 22 Republic Acts passed during the 16th, 17th and 18th Congresses, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), to date, has completed a total of 9, while 21 are now under construction and expected to be completed by the first half of 2022.
Agriculture Secretary William Dollente Dar has ensured that the construction of all these hatcheries, being among the priority thrusts of the government on food security, were provided with complete funding. The DA-BFAR allocated 635 million pesos for the construction of these hatcheries in 2021 and sees the completion of all 37 hatcheries by the end of 2022.
The DA-BFAR’s Legislated Hatcheries Program aims to meet local requirements for aquaculture seed stocks, reduce dependence from imported fry, and ultimately augment the production of the Aquaculture sector. Further, it aims to increase the variety of cultivable species in the country, promote species diversification, and provide venue for fisheries extension services.
The first of the batch of these legislated hatcheries – a multi-species marine hatchery located in Perez, Quezon – was inaugurated in December 2021. Immediately following this and before the year ended, the DA-BFAR completed the construction of mangrove crab seed banks, nurseries and grow-out production farms in seven other sites – Baras, Viga, Panganiban, Bagamanoc, San Andres, Caramoran and Pandan in the Province of Catanduanes – and a multi-species marine hatchery in Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte.
Meanwhile, of the 21 legislated hatcheries that are now under construction, three (3) are mangrove crab seed banks, nurseries and grow-out production farms in Catanduanes, nine (9) are multi-species marine hatcheries in Quezon (5), Albay, Cebu, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur, two (2) are multi-species freshwater hatcheries in Agusan del Norte and Lanao del Norte (with Research Center), and one multi-species marine nursery in Sultan Kudarat. Aside from hatcheries and a nursery, there are also seven Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Training, Development and Product Centers currently in construction in provinces in Eastern Visayas.
Among the partners in the implementation of the Program is the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) who helped prepare the feasibility studies, provided assistance in identifying suitable sites, helped in designing the
hatcheries, and lent their expertise in developing hatchery models at its Tigbauan Station. The DA Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) and the Visayas State University, meanwhile, also helped in capacitating DA-BFAR personnel in conducting the feasibility studies for the construction of the hatcheries.
In the first two years of operation, the DA-BFAR will manage the hatcheries and aquaculture facilities while providing technical trainings to the local government units that will eventually take full responsibility upon its transfer.
The Legislated Hatcheries Program is parallel with one of the key strategies under Secretary Dar’s ‘OneDA Reform Agenda,’ which seeks to modernize the agri-fisheries sector through infrastructure investments.
This week, 14 more bills seeking the establishment of marine hatcheries in 12 provinces were passed. Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of Senate committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform, and sponsor of the measures, supports and stresses the importance of multispecies marine hatcheries in ensuring sustainable supply of marine products.
With this kind of support, the DA-BFAR commits to implement these measures to achieve local fry sufficiency in the country through increased production for important species such as Bangus.
DA-BFAR Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Division
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