May 6-12, 1998 Volume XVII No. 19
Editorials & Opinions
Central Luzon recovers from Lahar devastation
THE effect of Mt. Pinatubo eruption was greatly felt in Central Luzon,
particularly in Zambales, Pampanga and Bataan. These provinces suffered
a drop in milkfish, Nile tilapia and shrimp production because some 6,942
hectares of fishponds, fishfarm structures and stocks were damaged and
Before the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, Central Luzon was able to produce
52,856 metric tons of milkfish, 37,380 tons of Nile tilapia, and 12,857
metric tons of shrimps. After the eruption, milkfish and shrimp production
dropped by 10% and 14% respectively, a sharp contrast to the production
of Nile tilapia which increases by 13% as compared with the 1990 production.
The increase indicated that tilapia farming was found not to be affected
by the ashfalls and lahar.
Two years after the eruption, aquaculture in Bataan and Pampanga has
recovered particularly for shrimp and tilapia production. Rolando mangera,
a fishfarmer in Barangay Gugo, Bacolor, Pampanga operates ponds with sizes
of 600-2,000 square meters and depths of 1.5-2 meters excavated by a bulldozer.
A nearby spring-fed lagoon provides pumped water supply to his fishfarm.
Two million Nile tilapia fingerlings are harvested from Mangera’s farm
annually and sold to buyers from Laguna and batangas. Groout of tilapia
is also being done in the farm stocking 1-2 garm fingerlings At five pieces
per square meter. Commercial pellets are fed to the fish and cultured for
three months. At sizes of 120-150 grams a piece, the fish and cultured
for three months. At sizes of 120-150 grams a piece, the fish can be sold
at P35-45 per kilo. Survival rate is high at 80% with an estimated yield
of over five tons per crop in the rainy season.
Problems met in culturing tilapia during the dry season include low
supply and poor quality of water, and fish diseases. Also, during this
season, water depth can be maintained at only about 30-60 centimeters because
of heavy seepage and evaporation. From December to February, fish diseases
are evident due to low water temperature. Hence, the harvest during this
season drops to an average of only two tons.
In the brackishwater ponds of Bataan, culturing milkfish and shrimp
are extensive. In one hectare, 3,000-4,000 milkfish are stocked in ponds
and grown for 150 days with little or no fertilization. Harvest size is
at 250 grams per piece. For shrimp, 30,000 pieces are stocked per hectare,
cultured for 90 days, and harvested at an average size of 25 grams pe piece.
Harvest for milkfish is 2 tons per hectare and for shrimp, 500-600 kilos
are harvested per hectare per crop. (NFISS)
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