After pork, PH may be short of fish

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    The country may experience a slight deficiency in fish supply by the second half of the year.

    The Department of Agriculture (DA) said based on current projections, the total supply of fish in the country this year will reach 3.43 million tons against a demand of 3.36 million tons.

    In a virtual briefing yesterday, DA Undersecretary Cheryl Natividad-Caballero said 2.9 million will come from local production; 2.9 million tons from importation; 76,558 tons from the beginning stocks and 13,088 tons from interventions of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, such as the hatcheries owned by the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center. .

    Caballero said third quarter and fourth quarter supplies will be deficient by three and two days, respectively. Meanwhile, supplies for the first and second quarters are expected to be over by three and 11 days, respectively.

    “The projection has not yet factored in our current initiatives including the hatcheries… We currently have 12 of them which will be expanded to be connected to nurseries from which the private sector and local government units can partner with,” Caballero said.

    She added the deficit can be addressed especially that majority of the country’s local fish supply are from aquaculture at 54 percent, catch of small fishermen at 24 percent and 22 percent from commercial fisheries. -J. Macapagal