The Department of Agriculture (DA) is assuring consumers that fish supply and prices have stabilized, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna, collectively known as “NCR plus.”
“This favorable condition was due to the peak season in the country’s major fishing grounds, as well as from the DA’s efforts to ensure food security amid the pandemic,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“During the second week of the month, from April 8 to 14, total volume of marine fish catch unloaded at the Navotas Fish Port Complex amounted to 3,760 metric tons (MT), 200 MT more than the previous week,” he added.
Quoting reports from the DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), he said the unloading consisted mainly of galunggong (roundscad), totaling 2,280 MT, and the rest was a combination of turay, tulingan, tunsoy, tamban, pusit (squid), matambaka, gulyasan, dalagang bukid (yellowtail fusilier), and shrimps.
These were caught from the country’s major fishing grounds, namely: waters off eastern and northern Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Visayan Sea.
Supply of bangus (milkfish) and tilapia was also abundant, coming from fishpens and fishponds in Bulacan, Pangasinan, Taal Lake in Batangas, and Laguna de Bay.
As a result, prevailing retail prices of the most in-demand fishery commodities remained stable in most public markets in the NCR plus, said Dar said.
Specifically, in 10 retail markets and one wholesale market in the NCR, prices of fresh galunggong ranged from P180 to P240 per kilogram (kg), while prices of tilapia and bangus were sustained at P120 to P130/kg, and P180/kg, respectively.
These were an improvement compared to prices during the latter part of 2020 and first quarter of 2021, when prices of galunggong fetched as high as P300/kg, bangus at P220/kg, and tilapia at P160/kg.
The positive fisheries market performance is one of the fruits of the efficient implementation of our “One DA reform agenda,” particularly on production and marketing strategies, Dar said.
“In the months ahead, we will continue to make fishery products and food, in general, accessible and affordable to all consumers, particularly in the ‘NCR plus’ and in other urban communities, where the threat of hunger looms,” the DA chief said.
“In all our efforts, we will also ensure that small fishers get reasonable prices for their produce and fish catch, and thus respectable earnings for their families,” he added.