Finfish Hatcheries, LGU Malapatan restock Sarangani Bay with 10 million bangus

by Admin-Phmp

By Henrylito D. Tacio

Finfish Hatcheries, Inc. (FHI), a member of the Alcantara Group, is the first and largest commercial bangus fry hatchery in the country. Its farms and hatchery is located in the town of Malapatan in Sarangani Province. The ponds are irrigated with water from Sarangani Bay, which is known for its rich marine life.

Although bangus (scientific name: Chanos chanos) is considered the country’s fish icon, production is still low. One reason is that there’s a lack of bangus fry (seed) to supply the needs of fish cage operators as the country is dependent on imported fry from Indonesia and Taiwan.

Data from PSA showed 446,382.19 metric tons of bangus fry were produced in 2021. About 205,354 metric tons came from local resources while the remaining 245,354 metric tons were sourced from Indonesia.

But thanks to FHI, the problem of bangus fry supply is being eased. “Fry are harvested for distribution once they reach 21 days,” says Rene B. Bocaya, FHI’s assistant vice-president for sales. “Our bangus fry’s survival rate is high.”

As a corporate responsibility, FHI teamed up with the local government unit (LGU) of Malapatan in restocking of more than 10 million bangus fries in the waters of barangay Lun Masla last August 5.

Dorie Ticao, FHI’s operations manager, pointed out that the bangus restocking effort was the company’s way of giving back to the community and helping the environment.

“Finfish Hatcheries wants to give back to nature which has been very good to us, especially Sarangani Bay. We also want to ensure that the community has ample natural resources in terms of bangus which some fishermen rely on,” Ticao said during the program that was held before the release of the bangus fry in the waters.

Vice Mayor Jean Delos Santos, who was present during the event, thanked FHI and the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for restocking Lun Masla’s waters with the bangus fries.

“Thank you very much Alcantara Group for this very noble effort for our community. I am proud to say that the bangus products which are sold all over the world come from Sarangani Province, particularly in Lun Masla, Malapatan,” Delos Santos said.

It takes 5 years for a bangus to mature sexually. FHI selects breeders for commercial production only when they are 8 years old. A mother bangus, called sabalo, can produce seven kilos of eggs in one year. And one kilo consists of 750,000 eggs.

“We have been in the bangus fry production business since 1997,” Bocaya said. – ###

Photos courtesy of FHI

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