Hatchery-bred milkfish fry: a must for fisheries development

Hatchery-bred milkfish fry: a must for fisheries development

Milkfish is the national fish of the Philippines not only because it is a favorite viand of the population. The milkfish industry has also been contributing about 10 percent, on average, to total fisheries production for the past two decades (Israel 2000). The industry likewise employs approximately 800,000 people when all its backward and forward in- dustry and activity linkages are accounted for.

Although milkfish is important, however, its produc- tion has been declining in the past two decades (Figure 1). Output in the 1990s was significantly lower than in the previous decade and has stagnated in recent years.

This issue argues that a hatchery-bred fry is necessary for milkfish culture to attain sustainable growth and international competitiveness in the future. Hence, the research and development program of the government should continuously include the support for milkfish R&D. This will help identify the problems that hamper the growth not only of the milkfish industry but of the fisheries sector as well.

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