Laguna, Batangas fisherfolk-partners approve site-specific protocols for tilapia fingerling production

Fisherfolk-partners from identified barangays in Laguna and Batangas reported increase in their tilapia fry and fingerling production after implementing site-specific protocols introduced by the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) through the Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (FFRDC). The report was made during the monitoring and documentation activity conducted on 13-14 September 2022 in Laguna and Batangas. 

Nadagdagan ang aming produksyon ng tilapia fry. Kung dati ay apat na milyong fry, ngayon ay umabot na sa anim hanggang sampung milyong tilapia fry ang laki ng aming produksyon,” said Louieson Ilagan, a fisherfolk-partner from Calauan, Laguna. 

In 2020, DA-NFRDI-FFRDC implemented a project to address inefficient and low production of fry and fingerlings through refinement of site-specific protocols for seed production of tilapia. Through the DA-BAR-funded project, fisherfolk-partners were trained on different packages of technologies (POTs) in tilapia hatchery and nursery in village-level farms in Laguna and Batangas, hence its application. 

FFRDC chief and project leader Maria Theresa M. Mutia shared the importance of proper method in rearing and harvesting fry and fingerlings, use of pond fertilizer, and proper water and pond preparation to increase seed production of tilapia resulting in an increased income for fisherfolk. 

Henry Magsisi, also a fisherfolk-partner in Calauan, explained that pond preparation is crucial in their fry production. After the training, he practiced using organic fertilizer such as tea seed and dispersing lime to eliminate pests in his pond. 

Proper pond preparation, through soil cultivation and use of organic fertilizers, promotes the growth of natural food for tilapia and at the same time, eliminates pests and diseases in the pond, explained chief Mutia. 

Agaton Holgado, a fisherfolk-partner from Laurel, Batangas, shared that survival rate of tilapia fry in his nursery pond increased significantly due to proper stocking and acclimatization. 

Halos magpantay ang dami ng aming nilaglag na fry sa dami ng fingerlings na aming nakukuha,” he shared. 

Kapag dumating ang fry, hinahayaan lang namin ang plastik na may fry sa tubig sa loob ng 10-15 na minuto. Pagkatapos naming buksan ang plastik, hahayaan lang namin iyong fry na lumabas hindi kagaya dati na itinataktak namin,” he added. 

Through the adoption of the POTs on enhanced fingerling production of tilapia, a remarkable 12% increase in production and 22% increase in profit was achieved, chief Mutia reported. 

DA-NFRDI executive director Lilian C. Garcia emphasized that village-level hatchery and nursery are important in achieving a continuous supply of food in the community and quality fry and fingerlings for grow-out ponds and cages of intended buyers. 

Several cooperators were able to gradually expand their hatchery and nursery farms, renovate houses, and acquire additional livelihood such as poultry and livestock due to the increase in their productivity and income. 

DA-BAR monitoring team led by Research Coordination Division assistant head Julia A. Lapitan provided suggestions and recommendations for the sustainability and expansion of the project. Also joining the discussions were DA-NFRDI executive director Garcia; and FFRDC chief Mutia. (### Angelo N. Padura)