Fish shortage possible if PAP import ban persists

Amid shortages in the supply of rice, chicken and egg, the aquaculture industry is also on the verge of a crisis if the dwindling supplies of raw materials for fish feed is not addressed soon.

It can be recalled that a ban on the importation of porcine Processed Animal Proteins (PAPs), a major protein source for the manufacture of fish feeds for aquaculture l, was implemented by the Bureau of Animal Industry to keep the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) at bay.

With the ban, the importation of domestic and wild pigs and related products originating from Italy was stopped due to a reported case of ASF in the country. Unfortunately, Italy and Germany are two of the country’s top suppliers of PAP.

As the aquaculture industry asked to lift the ban on PAPs, local hog farmers and pork producers maintained that allowing the importation could put the local hog industry at risk anew like what happened in 2019.

As the debate rages on the safety of PAPs, the National Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Council issued Resolution No. 06. Series of 2022.

Based on the deliberations of the council, there is an urgent need to fasttrack the importation of PAPs to the country since PAPs are subjected to extreme temperature and extrusion to improve digestibility in animal feed diets. This heating process renders the ASF virus inactivated.

“The risk of transmission of ASF virus through the inclusion of PAP in aquatic feed diets is low since the feed ingredient has been subjected to several manufacturing process with a temperature sufficient to inactivate the ASF virus,” they said.