President Marcos may be on the receiving end of criticisms on the country’s trajectory for the agriculture sector but on the fisheries front, he received praise from the Tugon Kabuhayan advocacy group for the renewed importation of PAPs which are essential to producing fish feeds.
This, according to the group will ensure a stable supply of fish in the country during the projected low stock season of November to January.
“We thank President Bongbong Marcos, who is concurrent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the new leadership at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for taking the decisive and science-based approach to issue Memorandum Circular 34, Series of 2022 allowing the importation of processed animal proteins (PAPs) from countries affected with ASF (African swine fever) for aquatic feed use,” Tugon Kabuhayan convenor Asis Perez said.
It can be recalled that aquaculture farmers previously petitioned for an exemption of PAPs from the DA’s memorandum order no. 6 Series 2019, banning the importation of pork and pork products, including PAPs, from ASF-affected countries, gravely lowering the aquaculture industry’s production.
Fish producers said that lifting the ban would curb a potential shortage of fish in the country in the absence of adequate amounts of fish feed.
In response, the National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFARMC) issued a resolution endorsing the aquaculture industry’s request and asked the DA-BAI to immediately address the dwindling supply of raw materials for aquaculture production.
“Aquaculture production for the December-to-February period was traditionally geared toward addressing that gap. It is of utmost importance that aquaculture production will not be further disrupted by a lack of raw materials,” Perez said.