Volume of harvest from aquaculture farms was estimated at 2,090 metric tons in the First Quarter of 2021. It accelerated by 0.8 percent compared with the 2,074 metric tons output in 2020. Aquaculture remained the second largest subsector of fisheries accounting for more than 25.0 percent of the total fisheries production in the region. The increase in the volume of aquaculture production was attributed mainly from harvest in freshwater ponds and cages particularly in the province of Isabela. Freshwater ponds output of 1,785 metric tons is up by 15.0 metric tons compared with the 2020 recorded output of 1,760 metric tons. Production from freshwater ponds comprised about 85.0 percent share to total aquaculture production in the region and most likely to dictate the trend of the aquaculture output. Meanwhile, estimated production in freshwater cages at 80.0 metric tons this year also recorded an increase of about 15.0 metric tons from previous year’s level of 65.0 metric tons. Although it only supplied 3.8 percent to the total aquaculture production of the region, it somehow contributed to the positive output of the aquaculture sector during the quarter.
Moreover, production from Seaweeds Farms and Small Farm Reservoir (SFR) also recorded slight improvement compared to last year’s output with 22.0 and 14.5 percent increment, respectively.
Particularly, seaweeds farms production showed an increment in output- from its output of 7.2 metric tons in 2020, it went up to 8.8 metric tons this year. On the other hand, SFR managed to perform better this year with its recorded output of 7.0 metric tons from its record in 2020 of 6.1 metric tons. Seaweed farms and SFR contributed 0.4 and 0.3 percent to the regional aquaculture production during the first quarter of this year.
In contrast, production from Brackishwater Fisponds, Brackishwater Cages and Oyster Farms depicted downward trend this year. Output from brackishwater ponds is down by almost 12.0 metric tons this year or from 179 metric tons in 2020 to only 167 metric tons this year. In like manner, production from brackishwater fishcages registered lower output this year with minimal decreased of about 0.3 metric tons or about 13.3 percent decreased. Relatedly, estimated production from oyster farms registered a negative 7.4 percent or down by four metric tons. In terms of contribution to total production of aquaculture farms this 1st Quarter of 2021, brackishwater ponds shared 8.0 percent while oyster farms and brackishwater fishcages complemented 3.8 and 2.4 percent, respectively.
In terms of provincial distribution of the 1st Quarter aquaculture production of the region, Isabela province shared almost three fourth (71.7 percent) of the regional aquaculture production. Notably, aquaculture production in Isabela registered the highest increment in Q1 of 2021 and this was realized from freshwater ponds and cages, the dominant culture type where most growers in the province were engaged with. Far second in terms of contribution is the province of Nueva Vizcaya with its share of about 13.4 percent share to regional output and mostly harvested from freshwater ponds and SFR. The production of Nueva Vizcaya in Q1 2021 was down by five metric tons, from a total of 285 metric tons the previous year, it decelerated to about 280 metric tons this year. Cagayan province came third in terms of productivity this quarter, contributing 11.8 percent to total output of the region. Bulk of harvests in the province came from brackishwater ponds. Due to spillover effect of the series of floodings experienced in last quarter of 2020, the output of Cagayan in Q1 2021 suffered a loss of 16 metric tons, from its estimated 263 metric tons output in 2020, it went down to only 247 metric tons this year.
The remaining 3.1 percent share to total regional output was contributed by growers in Quirino province, outsourced from freshwater ponds, freshwater cages and small farm reservoir. The overall volume of production in aquafarms of the province was posted at 65 metric tons this year, five metric tons more compared to last year’s level of 60 metric tons.
In terms aquacuture farms production for 1st Quarter of 2021 per specie, Tilapia culture dominated the volume of produced comprising 90.7 percent to total aquafarm harvest in the region. The specie reached 1,896 metric tons this year surpassing its level of 1,890 metric tons in 2020 or about 0.3 percent increased. Meanwhile, production from Oyster farms shared about 2.4 percent to the region’s aquaculture output. Production from oyster farms is down this year- from 54 metric tons in 2020 to only 50 metric tons in 2021. P. Vannamei, a resurging specie cultured in the region, supplied 2.2 percent to total regional aquafarm harvest supplementing 47 metric tons and this is three metric tons more than previous year’s data at 44 metric tons. Catfish and Endeavor Prawn contributed more than 20 metric tons each to aggregate regional production this quarter, with catfish pitching in 28 metric tons while endeavor prawn complemented 21 metric tons. These species showed opposing trends this year, catfish exhibited a downward trend with a lowered output of about 10 metric tons while upward trend was noted for endeavor prawn surpassing its harvest last year by three metric tons.
Surprisingly, no change in production was observed for Milkfish specie with recorded 13 metric of production for both year levels. The specie contributed about 1.8 percent to total aquaculture production in the region this year. Harvests of Seaweed, Mudfish, Tiger Prawn and Other Species showed less than 10 metric tons production each this Q1 2021. All these species registered positive trends except production of tiger prawn which showed negative indicator. Aggregate contribution of these species comprised the remaining 1.1 percent share to total aquaculture farm production in the region for 1st Quarter of 2021.