Kadunung Bicol Program discusses cultured Fin Fishes!

Monday September 13,2021

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Month 2 [Topic 5 and 6: Tilapia and Milkfish]

To continue its school-on air for the month of March, KADUNUNG Bicol Program conducted its session for the fifth and sixth topic on Tilapia and Milkfish from March 22, to 26 2021 at SKY Radio 93.1 FM.

On the first day, Dr. Plutomeo Nieves, the Father of Modern Tilapia as called by his former students, shared his knowledge on the Biology of Tilapia and its Culture. Tilapia is the generic name for a species of African cichlid. The group is made up of three important aquaculture genera: Oreochromis, Sarotherodon, and Tilapia. It was noted that Tilapia is not native in the Philippines and was called as St. Peter’s Fish in reference to biblical passages about the fish fed to the multitudes. Six of its species are found in the Philippines namely: Oreochromis aureus (Blue tilapia), Oreochromis mossambicus (Mozambique tilapia, Black tilapia), Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia), Red Tilapia, Tilapia zillii, and Oreochromis spilurus (Sabaki Tilapia). Proceeding to the other topic which is on Aquaculture, Dr. Nieves define it first as the process of breeding, raising, and harvesting fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants. Known for being an expert when it comes to fish culture, he gave a brief overview on photosynthesis and stated that it is the start of biological productivity of water which is the most needed in the said activity.

The next day, Dr. Nieves continued his discussion on culturing tilapia. Eight of the cultured or strains of tilapia in the Philippines were mentioned during the discussion. He then moved on for the topic of the day which is the Biology and Culture of Milkfish. Milkfish, also called bangus (Chanos chanos), is a silvery marine food fish that is the only living member of the family Chanidae. Milkfish is known in Hawaii as “awa”; Tahiti as “ava”; “ibiya” in Nauru and “bendeng or bolu” in Indonesia. Bangus fry is known locally as kawag-kawag, the fingerlings as hatirin, juvenile as garungan, and breeders as sabalo. Dr. Nieves thoroughly differentiated its production management scheme which includes the traditional or extensive, semi-extensive, and intensive techniques.

Hatchery Operation on Tilapia and Milkfish was also tackled on the program with Dr. Nieves and Mr. Freddie Biron (Fish Hatchery in-charge in BUTC), as the speakers. They started in Tilapia Hatchery where they enumerated the necessary spawning facilities, which included fishponds, and “hapa” or concrete tank. Mr. Biron advised the listeners that if they are planning to breed tilapia, they must choose a good quality fish particularly those that are fast growing. They also enthusiastically answered a listener’s question about whether the BUTC offers or sells tilapia fingerlings and other follow-up questions. Just like on tilapia hatchery, spawning facilities for milkfish hatchery were also mentioned. These include concrete tanks, phytoplankton tanks, larval-rearing tanks, and reservoir tanks. Dr. Nieves also pointed out that in hatchery, it is very important to know feeding; how it is feed, how much is needed to feed, and when is the right time to feed.

In animal production systems, good nutrition is essential for economically producing a healthy, high-quality product. Dr. Nieves discussed the nutrition we can gain from eating tilapia and milkfish, two of the most popular fishes among the general public. Proteins, lipids or fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and energy were among the nutrients he mentioned. Fish diseases were also discussed, as well as their diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Dr. Maria Gisella Mortega was invited again to talk on the processing techniques of Tilapia on the fifth day of the week’s session. There were many food preparation techniques for tilapia that were discussed and that includes sinanglay, marinated splitted tilapia, Splitted dried tilapia, Minced fish, Fish skin chicharon, Fermented tilapia, Bottled or canned fish tilapia, and Fish meal.

Four students of San Lorenzo Elementary School namely Shiela Barbacena, Sofia Barbacena, Mila Bragais, and Eunice Felosofo, together with Billy Ray Boboyo of San Miguel Elementary School were the winners of the daily paukod segment. (written by Antonino Mendoza, Aileen Rances, Mariel Bernadas, Michael Borejon)