Milkfish or “Bangus” sometimes pronounced as “Bangos” is the main aquaculture product of the Philippines. It is the most popular seafood dish among Filipinos. Its best characteristic is its adaptability to its environment. It can survive in confined fresh or brackish water fish pens and marine cages. The Bangus is a tough and sturdy fish species making it suitable for aquaculture and cultivation.
The Milkfish or Bangus represents one of the main if not the largest percentage of the nation’s fishing industry. There are a lot of different aspects of and requirements when it comes to Bangus cultivation. Research and development is a must for inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, water and land. A successful aquaculture business requires education and some financial assistance from a private or government sector. Training seminars are also being provided by government agencies across the country.
Our Bangus Cultivation Farm In San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
As I mentioned in the introduction to ManilaTrade.com I’m also part of a family of Bangus fish farm owners. Our entire clan operate about a thousand hectares of fish farming areas in Mindoro. We have been in the aquaculture business for more than 70 years now. We also have tried to cultivate different kinds of aquaculture species like prawns or “Sugpo”, crabs or “Alimango” and others. Eventually they settled in the Bangus industry because of their knowledge and expertise which has been passed to them for generations.
During my free time from my work as an internet marketer, I visit our farm in Mindoro to discover more about Bangus farming. I’ve been studying the business for about 4 years now. I’m learning the different methods and techniques of fish farming. As of now I can say that I know about 50% of the process. My father even tells me that with his 35 years of experience he is still learning and discovering new knowledge. It only means that aquaculture or any type of fish farming is a continuous learning process.
I’d like to show you some photos and videos that I took from one of our areas. As you can see we have a modular style of fish farming. This is a 25 hectare area with 4 partitions. The optimum production for this area is about 7-8 tons (average of 8-10 thousand pieces) every 40-45 days. Right now we are only getting around 4-5 tons from it because the area is still under rehabilitation.
From the 4 years that I have been learning about the Bangus business I found out that the natural food of the Bangus is just as important as the fish itself. With a modular type of fish cultivation we are more dependent on the “lablab” and “lumot” for feeding the bangus. Preparing the soil during the summer is a critical process that we have to focus on. If we don’t prepare the soil properly then the natural food of the Bangus will not grow. If this happens, the growth of the Bangus will be insufficient thus yielding a smaller production for the entire year.
I am planning to visit other aquaculture farms around the Philippines to compare and to discover more about the business. I’m very interested in visiting the large Bangus pens and cages and to know the current state of Bangus exporting in the Philippines.
My next stop will be in IloIlo to visit the fish farm of my friend who uses a different style of operation from our modular system.