Improved production protocols for common carp ensure sustainable supply

Among the aquaculture commodities in the country, the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is one of the cheapest food fish that is available to the local consumers. It breeds naturally and its production can be maximized by promoting its technology on breeding and culture to help increase fish production in freshwater aquaculture. 

“This species of carp is found low in the food chain, making it ideal for farming in the areas where natural food grows abundantly. Therefore, production is cost effective and entails low production cost,” said Dr. Maria Theresa Mutia of the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI). 

This led Dr. Mutia and her team to conduct a research aimed to increase the production of common carp through improvement of protocols in the grow-out culture in ponds and cages. While ensuring sustainable food supply for the community and in the local market in the CALABARZON region where common carp is widely accepted as food fish, the study also intended to strengthen the capacities of communities and provide additional livelihood to fisherfolk. 

The DA-NFRDI-Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center, in collaboration with DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-CALABARZON and Local Government Units (LGUs) in Laguna and Rizal and through the project, has identified 22 cooperators from four municipalities in Laguna and two in Rizal, surpassing the target of 10 cooperators only. The sites were chosen based on a set of criteria and where DA-BFAR-CALABARZON has a collaborative fish production program. 

The package of technologies (POT) for grow-out culture of carps in ponds and net cages was adopted by the cooperators. Assistance provided were online training, through a series of lectures; as well as provision of technical assistance and agricultural inputs such as fingerlings, materials and construction of cages, feeds, pesticides, lime, and fertilizers, for one cycle operation. 

Good aquaculture practices of cooperators were also documented. 

The DA-NFRDI-FFRDC dispersed 62,360 common carp fingerlings and stocked them in the ponds and cages of the 22 cooperators. 

After 8-10 months rearing period, 3.5 metric tons of common carp were harvested from the 22 cooperators, with survival rate ranging from 37.5-84%. The return on investment ranged from 11.7 to 157.3% and payback period of 0.6 to 8.8 years, respectively. 

Harvests from the pond cultured carp were higher compared to those harvested in cages from Laguna Lake, where “no feeding” policy is being imposed, affecting the survival and growth of the fish. 

“The volume of production and the profit gained from the project has [a] positive impact on the livelihood of the cooperators and has increased the supply of common carp in the CALABARZON region. In fact, the cooperators with [a] good harvest showed interest to continue their operation,” Dr. Mutia said. 

The profit gained from the project will be used by the cooperators to continue the operation. 

The DA-BFAR-CALABARZON and the LGUs offered their support to the cooperators for their registration and accreditation as common carp fish farmers. DA-NFRDI, for their part, will continue to monitor the development of the project and assess the impact of the government’s intervention. (### Maria Elena M. Garces) 


For more information:

Maria Theresa Mutia 

Chief Science Research Specialist
DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute

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