Oliver Bugarin 4 0 0 6 min to read

BFAR executive highlights PH ornamental fish trade industry’s potential.

On Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) stated that one of its goals is to improve the nation’s competitiveness in the international trade in ornamental fish.

Demosthenes Escoto, officer-in-charge of DA-BFAR, stated that the decorative fish trade offers a variety of opportunities for the livelihood of Filipino fishermen during the first ornamental fish summit of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI).

In addition to being historical, this meeting is pertinent to the fishing industry at this time as it makes progress in recovering from the negative socioeconomic effects of the Covid-19 outbreak. “Not everyone is aware that the ornamental fish sector is truly a lucrative one internationally, with opportunities for income and commerce, aside from the therapeutic benefits of stroking ornamental fish,” he said.

Escoto claimed that the ornamental fish sector, regarded as the second-largest hobby globally, is displaying a consistently rising tendency.

The BFAR expressed optimism that the country’s ornamental fish trade will flourish and support fishermen and hobbyists.

According to the BFAR, the nation is “one of the leading participants in the ornamental fish market,” producing ornamental fish such as koi, angelfish, molly, guppy, and goldfish, among others.

Escoto continued, “With an average export of 5,215 metric tons from 2009 to 2016, the Philippines is… one of the leading exporters in the world.

The Philippines has the capacity to produce 23,216,618 pieces of marine and freshwater ornamental fish annually, with a market value of about PHP283.1 million.

native fish for aquariums

Escoto stressed the importance of fostering the breeding of native or indigenous decorative fish in addition to the nation’s capacity to export marine ornamental fish at a profit.

“We must be able to generate our own native ornamental fish species to be globally competitive. Formulate breeding strategies to improve the quality of our freshwater ornamental fish. These measures will not only help local aquarists but also boost the number of hobbyists who keep ornamental fish across the nation, he claimed.

Approximately 2,000 species of ornamental fish exist today, with Asia producing 65% of them, mostly from Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Frederick Muyot, Senior Science Research Specialist at DA-NFRDI, stated in a professional presentation that the freshwater ornamental sector began to grow as early as the 1980s. The Philippines hasn’t made much progress in this regard, though.

“Unlike our neighbors like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China, we have not yet built it into a major sector. He said that we still haven’t fully utilized our export market, even though there are many opportunities for growth in the local and international markets.

He said that a significant amount of freshwater ornamental fish is produced in the Philippines. To improve the nation’s competitiveness in the world market, it is crucial to have domestic production.

The top three biggest participants and producers in the ornamental sector are the Davao Region, Central Visayas, and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).

“There is, therefore, a tremendous opportunity in the ornamental fish sector,” the author writes. We have a sizable neighborhood market… after which export commerce… The market for ornamental fish has been rising continuously… According to him, high-quality fish and affordable costs are essential in the fiercely competitive export market for freshwater ornamental fish.

The United States of America, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, China, Canada, and other European Union nations are major markets for ornamental fish.

The NFRDI stated that in light of this, it is crucial for the government to pursue livelihood programs, such as the provision of agricultural inputs, breeding materials, and ornamental fish breeders, conduct training and seminars, perform fish fair exhibits, as well as intensify collaboration with the local government units.

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