The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) strengthens its advocacy for revitalizing indigenous freshwater species to increase the local production of the fisheries sector through aquaculture.

Indigenous freshwater species are an essential component of inland waters and contribute significantly to the environment’s biodiversity. These fishes, however, are among the inland water resources that have experienced a fast decline due to several factors such as overfishing, declining water quality, siltation, illegal fishing, improper and accidental introduction of non-native species, and climate change.

The management of indigenous freshwater species, through sustainable programs and initiatives, is crucial and necessitates several focused strategies to resolve concerns and problems pertaining to their promotion and protection. This is where the DA-BFAR’s National Inland Fisheries Technology Center (NIFTC) steps in.

Through the NIFTC’s Indigenous Freshwater Fish Hatchery, the Bureau has established breeding techniques for various freshwater fish species as a result of holistic, innovative, and data-driven research and development.

“Through the NIFTC, we have already developed breeding methods for some of our indigenous freshwater fish species in partnership with the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute which I take this opportunity to thank and commend for performing an exceptional job and showing dedication in helping us establish this hatchery area and research facility amidst the challenges of the pandemic. Reviving the population of these indigenous species by breeding them in captivity, after all, is harnessing the uniqueness of our natural water ecosystems and biodiversity,” said DA-BFAR OIC-Director Nestor Domenden.

The Bureau aims to achieve its goal of carrying out its mandate regarding the country’s fisheries sector. As it gears towards this goal, the DA-BFAR focuses on modernizing fishing, fish farming, and processing equipment and facilities, innovating through the promotion of unconventional production system, and intensifying existing programs such as mariculture parks and Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa (BASIL).

In celebration of the DA-BFAR’s 59th Fish Conservation Week, the Bureau conducted a techno-demonstration and a tour for media personnel in NIFTC located in Tanay, Rizal from various media company organizations to create and raise awareness about fish conservation, particularly about fish species Filipino consumers do not often see in the market anymore. Through the media tour, the Bureau hopes to provide the media with first-hand information and experience on how hatcheries work and their significance in conservation and sustainable fish production.

These landmark initiatives are crucial steps toward achieving food security and realizing the goal of the new administration of making the nation self-sufficient in food. With the President at the helm of the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau commits to ensure sustainable fisheries management and innovative services and contribute to the nation’s food security and improving fisherfolk quality of life.