Agri dep’t to import 60K metric tons of fish to avert fish supply shortfall this first quarter

Says projected supply shortfall due in part to damage to fisheries subsector after typhoon “Odette”

Courtesy DA


(Eagle News) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it would import around 60,000 metric tons of small pelagic fish such as galunggong (round scad), sardines and mackerel “to plug projected fish supply shortfall in the first quarter of 2022.”

In a statement, the DA said Agriculture Secretary William Dar had already signed the Certificate of Necessity to Import (CNI) 60k metric tons (MT) of small pelagic fish in view of the “significant damage to the fisheries subsector in the wake of Typhoon Odette and reduced fish production due to the closed fishing season.”

“We are bolstering the aquaculture sector to close gaps in fish production and sustainably improve our catch,” he said as he clarified misconceptions on fish stocks for the coming quarter.

He said that the department is working on the Bureau of Fisheries Aquatic Resources (BFAR) projection of a “119,000 MT fish supply deficiency this quarter.”

The CNI signed by Dar “is seen as a means to stem the high prices of fish, which are hurting swathes of the Filipino population obtaining their protein sources from small pelagic fish such as galunggong (round scad), sardines, and mackerel,” the DA said in a release.

-P4 billion damage to agri in Odette hit areas-

It also noted the damage to agriculture due to Typhoon Odette had reached around P4 billion in terms of total value loss and damage.  Odette had hit many provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao including provinces known to contribute to the country’s fish supplies.

The DA said that there could be a spike in fisheries and agriculture input costs with the rise of global prices of petroleum and fish feed.

“We are, as always, striking the crucial balance to ensure fish security among consumers while coming to the aid of our fish producers,” DA Secretary Dar said.

The DA said it has “allotted P 50 million (M) of its P 1B Quick Response Fund post-Odette for the distribution of marine diesel/gasoline engines, the fabrication of durable fiberglass fishing boats, and the distribution of fisheries relief goods such as canned tuna, sardines, and frozen fish.”

“The amount adds to the P 35M-worth of fisheries interventions already distributed in the most affected region,” it said.

(Eagle News Service)