A FISHERIES facility in San Francisco town, Cebu has dispersed over a million tilapia fingerlings to Cebu’s local governments, schools, and even the local police and coast guard in the first 10 months of this year.
The facility, identified as the Lake Danao Freshwater Fish Farm (LDFFF), also surpassed its 2021 target of producing one million tilapia fingerlings four months ahead of schedule, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Central Visayas (Bfar 7) said in a statement.
A fingerling is a young fish about the size of a finger most often used in fish stocking programs and aquaculture.
The LDFFF is one of eight facilities managed by the Bfar 7.
San Francisco is located on Pacijan Island, one of the islands comprising the Camotes Islands off the northeastern coast of mainland Cebu.
LDFFF achieved its million-tilapia-fingerling feat in part by supporting the Cebu Provincial Government’s Sugbusog program, the Bfar said in a statement on Oct. 30, 2021.
But the bulk, or 74 percent, of the tilapia fingerlings went to other Bfar 7 offices and facilities whose clients sought them.
Toward this end, the Carmen Brackishwater Fish Farm was given 301,300 fingerlings; Cebu Provincial Fishery Office, 290,750 fingerlings; Regional Fisheries Training and Fisherfolk Coordination Division, 62,000 fingerlings; Fisheries Production and Support Services Division, 60,000 fingerlings; and Multi-Species Hatchery, 22,000 fingerlings.
As for the Sugbusog program, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia introduced this to households and purok in 2020 to help Cebu generate enough food amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Capitol expanded the program to include public schools in April 2021.
The following month, the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) informed Garcia that it would replicate the program by setting up backyard gardens in all police stations in Cebu Province and the CPPO headquarters in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
The Lake Danao fish farm provided 25,000 tilapia fingerlings to 38 cities and towns under Cebu Province during the Capitol’s caravan last July and August, the Bfar 7 said.
Cebu Province is composed of 44 towns and six cities.
“We recognize the (Sugbusog) program as this aims to encourage different local government units and people's organizations (to undertake) backyard gardening. Each backyard has a mini-fish pond where its wastewater has been utilized to water the grown vegetable plants,” said LDFFF head Expedito Otida.
LDFFF also supported the Department of Education-Cebu Province Division’s aquaponics project in the public schools in the Camotes Islands, dividing at least 3,330 tilapia fingerlings among 21 schools in the towns of Tudela, Poro, Pilar and San Francisco.
Aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics so that one can rear tilapia and cultivate vegetables at the same time.
The LDFFF also identified the Cebu Technological University in San Francisco campus as its academe partner, to whom it provided 900 tilapia fingerlings for the institution’s research and extension services.
“The technology demonstration tilapia farms are benefiting four people’s organizations from Barangay Montealegre, San Francisco,” Bfar 7 said.
Tilapia backyard farming has attracted interest not only from the local Philippine National Police but also from the Philippine Coast Guard offices, which received 1,000 and 275 tilapia fingerlings, respectively, for the tilapia farms in their respective stations and headquarters.
The LDFFF also met public and private clients’ demand for the fingerlings, selling over 293,000 fingerlings to owners and operators of fishponds and fish pens; and over 13,500 fingerlings directly to local government units.
As of the end of October, the Camotes facility had produced 1,287,000 tilapia fingerlings, nearly 30 percent more than its one-million-fingerling target for the whole year.
It hit the one million production mark in the second week of August, the Bfar 7 said.