Aquaculture development in the Philippines
Philippine aquaculture is a dynamic industry and a fast growing sector of the economy. Tremendous progress in production and technology has been achieved during the past decade. However, the country is experiencing a fish production shortfall which the aquaculture sector is expected to address. Given the proper support and direction, the aquaculture industry in the Philippines has great potential for growth and development. The Philippines has the principal attributes necessary for expansion of aquaculture production (e. g. important aquaculture species, ideal climatic conditions, existing fish farms and large water resources, expertise and manpower, markets, technologies). As part of the present research, several production-oriented studies were conducted for the development of the brackishwater aquaculture sector. The studies have shown that aquaculture technologies are available (e. g. milkfish - semi-intensive culture in ponds and marine cage culture, salt-tolerant tilapia hybrid - pond-based and marine-based cage culture, grouper - pond culture, shrimp - semiintensive culture) which are technically feasible and financially viable under present economic and environmental conditions. However, there are several important aquaculture constraints (e. g. seed supply and quality, feed supply and quality, government policies, marketing and post-harvest, environmental degradation and diseases, aquaculture credits) that must be overcome in order for the country to attain the maximum benefit from the potential of aquaculture. The study also identifies the important socio-economic benefits that can be derived (e. g. contribution to Gross Domestic Product, fish food supply, foreign exchange earnings, employment opportunities, tax revenues) from the development of the aquaculture sector. Finally, the study provides some strategies for the development of the brackishwater aquaculture sector with emphasis on the culture of milkfish, salt-tolerant tilapia hybrid, grouper and shrimp.