DA eyes Laguna Lake rehab to slash bangus prices

DA eyes Laguna Lake rehab to slash ‘bangus’ prices to P50/kilo

/ 02:12 AM January 19, 2024

MANILA  -The Department of Agriculture (DA) is working on reviving Laguna Lake, the country’s largest freshwater lake, as a major source of seafood to help slash the prices of fish by more than 60 percent.

“Our aim is to produce more food at lower prices. For example, bring back bangus (milkfish) prices to P50 to P70 per kilo,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said on Thursday. Data from the agency showed that the retail price of bangus ranged from P150 to P220 per kilo as of Wednesday.

“Maximizing the aquaculture potential of Laguna Lake is essential to achieving that goal. If we can add more capacity, then let’s do it,” he added.


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High levels of turbidity, which destroy fish habitats, were observed in Laguna Lake in 2023. To make sure fingerlings survive in freshwater, the amount of salt in water must be controlled.

According to the DA, fish pen operators have claimed that saltwater was last allowed to flow into the lake in 2022.

Laurel said he would arrange a meeting with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to discuss the problems “along with guidelines for the opening of the flood gates that is crucial for the introduction of fresh and saltwater needed for a more productive aquaculture industry.”

READ: ‘Gains for whole PH’: Solon says rehabbing Laguna Lake good for tourism

LLDA, which has jurisdiction over Laguna Lake, implemented in 1999 a zoning plan that allowed the use of 10,000 hectares (ha) for fish pen operations and 5,000 ha for fish cages.

Laguna Lake produces as much as 90,000 tons of freshwater fish annually and provides livelihood to around 13,000 fishermen. INQ

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TAGS: Bangus, Laguna Lake

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