Milkfish is a tropical fish with the scientific name Chanos chanos that is delicious and creamy. The Philippines prides its milkfish or locally known as bangus. Bangus is the national fish of the Philippines and is considered one of the most sought fish in the market. Good thing that the fish is also abundant and supply to the market is available mostly produced locally from fish ponds and fish cages in the entire archipelago.
|Region||Fish Pond||Fish cage||Fish pen||Small Farm Reservoir||Rice Fish||TOTAL|
In 2015 data from the Bureau of Fisheries or BFAR, the total yield of cultured milkfish is 14,080.71 metric tons. FIsh pond and fish cages are the main source of the said milkfishes andRegion IV-A garnered the highest percentage of overall bangus production.
Milkfish aquaculture started in the Philippines 800 years ago. The Philippines pioneered the use of aquaculture methods and other countries such as Indonesia and Taiwan started bangus aquaculture.
Shallow ponds are built in some milkfish ponds in the Philippines. The said shallow ponds have depth of 30–40 centimetres with brackish water. Benthic algae grows and serves as feed for the fishes. Mangrove areas are one of the common location for the site. Deeper bangus ponds has a characteristic depth of 2 to 3 meters and have more stable environment which shows less susceptibility of the bangus culture to diseases as compared to the shallow ponds.
The coastal areas of Pangasinan houses the fish ponds used in bangus aquaculture. The taste of Bonuan bangus is considered best compared to all bangus breeds and stocks, which is the reason why Dagupan city has the title Bangus Capital of the World. The taste explains the why part. The bangus fish has a physical difference from the common bangus, that is- the tail. The upper tail is considerably longer than the lower tail and in terms of taste, the milkfish of Bonuan is richer in taste.
From a valuable BFAR reference, we find the costing of the bangus fish pond startup. The final note stated up to 48.51% ROI per cropping. Given the initial expenses, the total capital put in the business is returned in 0.97 years or simply 1 year.
For bangus fish harvest, the following is a must to maximise profit:
- Check market situation and milkfish price;
- Drain ponds slowly and harvest the fish at night or early morning;
- Seine the fish or use water current to draw fish into a clean harvest area;
- Place harvest in chilling tank with blocks of ice for each ton of fish; and
- Pack harvest, and sell fish chilled or quick frozen to maintain freshness
Bangus can be sold into the wet markets per kilo. They can also be processed as boneless bangus and sold with vinegar which are sold per pack. Price depends on the demand and supply. Usual packing has 3 piece of processed boneless bangus. Selling bangus has been a livelihood to many, and training provided by local government units can be free. PArticipating in one can boost your skills in the starting of bangus processing business.