As part of the government’s strategy to boost the country’s aquaculture production and address food security, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in partnership with the Local Government of Ligao City, inaugurated the first Multi-species Marine Hatchery in Maonon, Ligao City in compliance with Republic Act 10950 on June 15, 2023.

The Inauguration, blessing and operationalization ceremony was jointly led by BFAR National Assistant Director for Technical Services, Isidro M. Velayo Jr, Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando “Didi” Cabredo and Ligao City Mayor Fernando V. Gonzalez. They were joined by BFAR Bikol Officials headed by RD Ariel U. Pioquinto, LGU officials and fisherfolk representatives. The ceremony highlighted the completion of the project amounting to 30 million pesos covering infrastructure and equipment that includes Larval Rearing Tank, Rotifer Tank, Broodstock Tank, Freshwater Elevated Tank, Marine Water Filter Tank, Waste Water Filter Tank, Reservoir, Phyco Laboratory, Working Area & Admin Building, Power House and Guard House.

The Ligao City Multi-Species Marine Hatchery Project will cater the increasing demand of seed stocks for commercially important marine species like milkfish, saline-tolerant tilapia, mangrove crab and giant tiger shrimp.

“The initiative of the Congress to pass this Republic Act to establish legislated hatcheries that are feasible throughout the country is indeed a laudable effort because this is one way of addressing that enormous quantity of fry imports in the country. It will also address the fry and fingerlings requirement not only in Ligao but also the Bicol region. This facility will accelerate aquaculture development as directed by our President to increase agriculture and fisheries production.” Asst Director Isidro M. Velayo Jr., said in his message.

During the activity, Atty. Nilo Consuelo, Chief of the Fisheries Production and Support Services Division, led the demonstration of the actual operation of the facility. BFAR Regional Directors Rosario Segundina Gaerlan of Region 1, Edward Yasay of Region X and Relly B. Garcia of Region XI graced the aforesaid event.

Under the agreement, the first two years of implementation, BFAR Bikol shall manage the facility and shall turn it over to the local government thereafter, with the continuous provision of technical assistance from BFAR.