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BFAR wants to revive native fish species via breeding technology

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said it is revitalizing indigenous freshwater species to increase the output of the fisheries subsector through aquaculture.

BFAR, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, noted that 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, and illegal fishing,” BFAR said in a statement.

The agency said 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 its National Inland Fisheries Technology Center (NIFTC) steps in.

Through the NIFTC’s Indigenous Freshwater Fish Hatchery, the agency 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. 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 BFAR OIC-Director Nestor Domenden.

BFAR said it aims to achieve its goal of carrying out its mandate regarding the country’s fisheries sector. It will focus 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).

“These initiatives are crucial steps toward achieving food security and realizing the goal of the new administration of making the nation self-sufficient in food.”

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported last month that the country’s agricultural output contracted by 0.4 percent in the first half, mainly due to the anemic performance of the crops and fisheries subsectors.

The value of crops produced in the first half fell by 2.2 percent, while that of fisheries declined by 3.9 percent. Palay fell by 2.2 percent, while corn recorded a 0.6-percent contraction during the period.

The output of coconut, mango, sugarcane, pineapple, coffee and tobacco also recorded lower values.

In the second quarter alone, the value of production in agriculture and fisheries at constant 2018 prices fell by 0.6 percent. Crops and fisheries pulled down the performance of the sector in April to June.

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