Cebu, Philippines – The fish production in Central Visayas increased by 9.87 percent for the first three months this year as compared the same period last year.
According to records at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7, which is based in Cebu City, the fish production in Central Visayas reached 64,537.80 metric tons at the end of March this year from 58,737.51 metric tons last year.
All the three sectors of fish production posted increases with the municipal fisheries registering the highest rate at 21.27 percent followed by aquaculture, 7.65 percent and the commercial fisheries at 4.95 percent.
The aquaculture products include seaweed, shells, oysters and mussels while the municipal fisheries are those caught through the small motorized or non-motorized boats including fish catch from the fresh water. The commercial fisheries are fish caught beyond the 15-kilometer distance from the shoreline.
Lourdes Arciaga, BFAR 7 public information officer, said the increase in aquaculture production was due to the expansion of production areas for marine cages in the provinces of Siquijor and Bohol.
She said the seaweed farms in Bohol also contributed to the increase.
Another factor to the aquaculture increase, Arciaga said was the increase of fishpond production on a per hectare basis in Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental.
Arciaga attributed the rise in commercial and municipal fish catch to the increase schools of fishes especially tuna and scads during the months of February and March.
“There was also an increase catch in lakes and dams caused by increased efforts by farmers having lesser farm activities during the summer months,” Arciaga said.
Arciaga said Cebu registered an increase in commercial fisheries because deliveries to its ports from Bohol or Negros Oriental were counted in favor of Cebu.
She said even if the fish were caught in Bohol or Negros Oriental, but if these were delivered in Cebu ports then the fish catch would be counted in favor of Cebu.
Of the three sectors, the municipal fisheries posted the biggest value of around P863.166 million followed by commercial fisheries, P660.064 million and aquaculture, P331.543 million.
The BFAR 7 data showed that Cebu contributed the biggest chunk in the municipal and commercial fisheries sector earning P544.119 million and P506.533 million for the respective sectors.
Bohol contributed the biggest amount to the aquaculture sector at P192.575 million.