Lake Bato yields good harvest of red tilapia after evaluation trial

Fisherfolk-partners harvested 477 kg of red tilapia from eight floating cages in Lake Bato, Camarines Sur on 8 November 2022. DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources- Bicol Regional Fisheries Research and Development Center (BFAR-RFRDC), in collaboration with the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of Bato, conducted the activity as part of evaluation on the performance of red tilapia grow-out culture in freshwater cages in the region. 

In an interview, DA-BFAR Bicol-RFRDC manager and project leader Ezer L. Quizon highlighted the significant contribution of the tilapia industry in the region particularly in freshwater cages situated in Lake Bato and Buhi. 

Isa po kami sa mga main producers ng tilapia sa bansa,” he said. 

Sa amin pong naging karanasan, nakita namin na maganda ang potensyal ng pag-aalaga ng red tilapia, naging mabilis at maganda ang paglaki ng mga tilapia na aming inalagaan. Nakapag-harvest din kami ng malaking volume ng tilapia,” he added. 

The harvest result aimed to assess the 25, 30, and 35 stocking densities for red tilapia fingerlings in nine floating cages in the lake after a culture period of five months. 

During the activity, random sampling of the harvested red tilapia were measured for its weight and sizes. Based on the record, a kilogram of the harvest consists of three to four medium-sized tilapia which is said to be highly marketable. 

To promote awareness on red tilapia grow-out culture, the harvest was distributed to the local government unit (LGU) of Bato through its MAO and DA-BFAR Bicol employees. Other produce was dedicated for the product development activities of the project. 

Ang teknolohiya na galing sa proyekto ng DA-BFAR ay makakatulong sa mga marginal na mangingisda sa bayan ng Bato para magkaroon ng pagbabago ang kanilang pamumuhay,” Bato municipal agriculturist Hector O. Llagas said. 

Another 280 kg of live red tilapia breeders were also harvested from the same floating cages. These were distributed to prequalified and validated beneficiaries from 12 LGUs in Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon. 

Funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research, the project implementation in the Bicol region takes part in the Luzon-wide performance evaluation on grow-out culture for red tilapia in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan, Central Luzon,  and Cordillera Administrative Region. (### Angelo N. Padura)