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DA extends validity of 38,695 MT CNI to augment fish supply

Author: DA Communications Group | 27 May 2022

Based on the report of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that the country would have a fish deficit of 90,000 metric tons (MT) for the rest of the year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) extended the validity of the 38,695 MT that represent the unused balance of the previous permit for 60,000 MT.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said local fish catch and production from both marine waters and aquaculture, respectively, have decreased due to several factors. 

Firstly, Palawan commercial fishing groups hardly went out due to high fuel cost, thus unloading of galunggong or roundscad declined considerably, Secretary Dar said.

Secondly, prices of bangus and tilapia have increased by at least P20 per kilogram (kg), from P160/kg to P180/kg for bangus, and P120/kg to P140/kg for tilapia. For round scad (galunggong), fresh catch sells for P240/kg, while imported ones  retail for P210/kg to P240/kg.

Thirdly, fish catch would dwindle with the observance of a closed fishing season in Davao.

He reaffirmed that making fisherfolk productive and competitive remains the Department’s priority to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fish and shield the local industry from the adverse impact of rising fuel prices and logistics bottlenecks and restrictions due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Part of our action plan is to enhance fish production in appropriate aquaculture and marine areas, in a sustainable manner. Kaya nagpapadagdag din tayo ng isang bilyong piso (P1 billion) para mas marami tayong maibigay na tulong at proyekto sa ating mga mangingisda upang patuloy na lumaki ang kanilang produksyon at tumaas ang kanilang kita,” Secretary Dar said. 

He added that fishers, along with corn farmers, are given discount vouchers worth P3,000 each, through the DA’s Fuel Discount Program with a budget of P1.1 billion.

In all, he said: “We need to carefully balance the interest of both producers and consumers.” ### (DA-StratComms)

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