Aquaculture: Philippines | Veterinaria Digital

Aquaculture: Philippines

09/09/2015 Aquaculture Asia

Aquaculture: Philippines

Dear readers,

In this article we are going to explore the trends of Aquaculture Market in Philippines.

Approximately 18 percent of the food fish supply currently comes from aquaculture. Milkfish and tilapia represent the bulk of aquaculture production. From 1998 to 2002, milkfish and tilapia production registered an annual average growth of 11.7 percent, compared to only 2.6 percent for capture fisheries. In 2002, the combined production of milkfish and tilapia of 364 289 tonnes represented 8 - 9 percent of total animal meat consumption. The prospects for further increasing aquaculture production are therefore enormous.

The present high growth in milkfish production can possibly be maintained due to the increasing use of sea cages and sea pens for milkfish culture. The growing popularity of value-added milkfish products in de-boned (or boneless) and smoked forms and their export potential will help to maintain the current growth pattern. The emergence of large commercial milkfish hatcheries in the Philippines is a positive development which can give the milkfish industry the extra needed push.
The success of tilapia production in the Philippines is attributed to the following:

  • Government support for research and extension.
  • Government moratorium on tilapia price and market intervention.
  • Cooperation between Philippines government and private sector and among researchers.
  • Cooperation and support of many international organizations.
  • Introduction of new breeding stock (Nile tilapia).


However, continued growth of the aquaculture industry is threatened by factors such as considerably lower margins for farmers and increasing cost of farmed fish compared to chicken and pork. A serious obstacle to the aquaculture industry's efforts to become more competitive is the very erratic market prices brought about by the seasonal harvest of wild fish. Over the last 20 years, the ranking of the Philippines in world aquaculture production fell steadily from 4th place in 1985 to 12thplace. The Philippines now contributes only a little over one percent of world aquaculture production. The growth of the Philippine aquaculture industry in the coming years is likely to be unsustainable unless new markets are developed, market competitiveness is improved, and farming risks are reduced. The Philippine Government and private sector are currently preparing the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP). One of its components is Aquaculture Development and Management. Given international trade and competition, there is a need for the Philippine aquaculture industry to adopt a CNFIDP that is global in perspective. The following recommendations are made:


  • Have a market-oriented framework of development.
  • Develop new markets, both for local and for export.
  • Promote technologies that will bring down production cost.
  • Develop new species that are cheap to produce.
  • Develop the processing and value-adding industries.
  • Rationalize fisheries ordinances in support of the CNFIDP.
  • Benchmark strategies against other countries.
  • Promote and support private sector leadership and initiatives.

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