Tilapia farming in philippines

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Aquaculture In The Philippines, How To Start

Introduction on How To Start Aquaculture in the Philippines: The aquaculture system contributes significantly to the country’s food security, employment, and foreign exchange earnings. Fish farming is a particular type of aquaculture. It provides a good combination of amino acids well suited to human nutritional requirements. The Philippines have a long history in aquaculture and it involves many aquatic species and farming practices in diverse ecosystems. The aquaculture sector is growing much faster than capture fisheries. Sometimes, aquaculture is also referred to as fish farming. A sustainable aquaculture strategy needs;

  • Recognition of farmers earn a fair reward from fish farming
  • To make sure that benefits and costs are shared equitably
  • To promote wealth and job creation
  • To make sure that enough food is accessible to all people
  • To achieve the environment for the benefit of future generations
  • To ensure that aquaculture growth is orderly, with both authorities and industry well organized

There are mainly two kinds of aquaculture. They are marine and freshwater. The former refers to culturing of marine species like shrimps, mussels, clams, oysters, sea bass, and salmon. These all aquatic species usually live in ponds, lakes, and rivers. Generally, aquaculture in the Philippines was initially dominated by milkfish. Tilapia fish is the 2nd important fish species in the Philippines. Fisheries growth is an important contributor to employment and income, export earnings.

A step by step guide on how to start aquaculture in the Philippines, importance and problems

Fish Farming In the Philippines

In the Philippines, fish production from the coastal zone decreased and the fish caught were of lower commercial value. Commercial fishing farming increased in production but existing fishing boats are old and small and lack modern equipment to explore the exclusive economic zone. The Philippines has approximately 330 freshwater fish species.

The future growth of Philippine aquaculture could not be sustained unless new markets are developed, market competitiveness is strengthened, and farming risks are reduced. The Philippine government and the private sector are in the method of preparing a national fisheries development plan which includes aquaculture.

The fisheries sector in the Philippines is mainly classified into capture fisheries and aquaculture. In these, capture fisheries are subdivided into municipal, commercial, and inland fisheries. The Philippines has almost 500,000 hectares of inland bodies of water, comprising about 200,000 hectares of lakes, 246,000 hectares of swamplands, and 31,000 hectares of rivers.

Aquaculture has strong potential for further development in the availability of vast resources like 338,393 ha of swampland, 14,531 hectares of freshwater fishponds, 239,323 hectares of brackish water fishponds, and 19,000 ha of reservoirs in the Philippines. It is categorized according to the environment, farming system, farming technology, and production. For a very long time, aquaculture in the Philippines was virtually synonymous with milkfish culture definitely in brackish water ponds, relying totally on natural food.

Climate change impact in aquaculture in the Philippines

Climate change impact on fisheries is a key issue for fish farming in the Philippines. In terms of income and employment, the fisheries in the Philippines make an important contribution to the national economy. Climate change is considered an important factor for fishing nations, but its impact on fisheries is also a key issue for the Philippines.

Advantages of aquaculture in the Philippines

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Advantages of aquaculture in the Philippines

Aquaculture is the raising of marine fish and shellfish, which is gaining popularity in meeting this demand. The major advantages of aquaculture can be given below;

  • Source of food – Aquaculture is an effective method to meet the increasing demand for fish species. With an aquaculture system, consumers will be assured of a continuous food supply. Also, this becomes the source of food establishments and restaurants that serve seafood like prawns, clams, and salmon, among others. Also, some fish species are cultured to be fed to carnivorous fish species. Fish and other seafood are good protein sources. They have more nutritional value like the addition of natural oils into the diet, such as omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Source of Income – Aquaculture gives job opportunities for many people.
  • Increase Jobs in the Market – The aquaculture sector increases the number of possible jobs in the market. It provides new products for a market and creates job opportunities.
  • Aquaculture saves time compared to other activities. This boosts entrepreneurship and also provides more hiring possibilities and more jobs.
  • Aquaculture Helps the Economy – Aquaculture is a multibillion-dollar industry. This generates enough money to help provide funding for states, regions, and cities.

Tilapia fish farming in the Philippines

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Tilapia Fish Farming In The Philippines

In the Philippines, Tilapia plays an important role in food security and nutrition. In the Philippines, Tilapia fish is the 2nd most important freshwater food. Also, the important fish species in the Philippines is the Nile Tilapia (Tilapia Nolitica). Tilapia grows fast compared to other species and reaches the marketable weight of at least 200 grams in less than 6 months. Tilapia species have been introduced into local waterways. Tilapia fish pens are common in the major rivers and lakes in the Philippines.

The success of tilapia farming in the Philippines may be attributed to the suitability of the fish to Philippine conditions, the locally developed technologies for production, and the presence of a vibrant market. The demand for tilapia in major markets of Metro Manila and other population centers of the Philippines is increasing. Freshwater production of Nile tilapia fish in ponds and cages will further expand. Though, the culture of salt-tolerant tilapias in brackish water ponds and sea cages will spread.

The Philippines is the most vulnerable country to extreme weather conditions. Climate and environmental stress in the Philippines have been causing a significant annual decrease in tilapia fish production. Freshwater fish ponds in the Philippines generate 50 to 55% of the total tilapia aquaculture production.

Effects of climate conditions and environmental stress are the main causes of this decrease. Extreme temperature levels and heavy rains that cause sudden changes in important water parameters, such as water temperature, pH level, and oxygen levels, affect tilapia’s growth, breeding success and can even lead to mass fish mortalities. This is supporting fish farmers in winning the race against climate change while contributing to food security.

Pampanga, Batangas, Bulacan, Laguna, and Sultan Kudarat are the top tilapia-producing provinces in the Philippines.

Tilapia production came from freshwater fishponds about 53.88%. The remainder of fish farms from freshwater fish cages about 37.85%, and freshwater fish pens (1.40%), brackish water fishponds about 6.75%, and marine fish cages (0.01%).

Land is a premium commodity in the Philippines, so it is rare to convert good agricultural land into fishponds because this could lower the land market value. Much of the country’s arable land is already being utilized for the agriculture sector, vast areas mainly marine waters, are still under-utilized for aquaculture.

Milkfish product’s popularity in de-boned and smoked forms and their export potential will help to keep the current growth pattern.

The success of tilapia production in the Philippines is attributed to the following points;

  • Government support for research and extension.
  • Cooperation between the government of the Philippines and the private sector and among researchers.
  • Cooperation of many international organizations.
  • Introduction of new breeding stock like Nile tilapia.

Step by step process for fish farming in the Philippines

Fish farming is the fastest-growing production segment in the world. In a controlled or semi-controlled environment, it is a way of raising aquatic organisms commercially to increase productivity. Fish farming is quite a process. Select the location to keep the fish until the final step where you market it.

This process will help you in identifying the best species you can farm and it will guide you on different feeds to give your fish and. While the process of starting a fish farm business is the same for small and large scale farmers. We can start a fish farming business by following these steps;

Select the type of fish farming

Selecting the right fish species plays an important role. The decision must be based on a maintenance point of view, market demand, and availability of resources, etc.

Fish species selection is the most challenging step in the fish farming business. Usually, there are different types of fish types and species. Several factors must be well-thought-out which if not taken into consideration would adversely affect productivity greatly.

Understand the target market

Business planning and feasibility analysis are very important to be done before starting a fish farming business in the Philippines. It is helpful to do deep market research before starting fish farming. Then, try to understand the local market demand. Develop an alternative marketing strategy and consumer types will differ relied on the fish type.

Learn the skills required for fish farming

It is important to have some skills for starting a fish farming business. There are some governments running fish farms that conduct training programs. It will teach you how to perform disease control, water management, and marketing, feeding, and processing for a successful fish farming business. They are given below;

  • Make sure that you have a quality water source.
  • Check if the water temperature level is suitable for raising fish species.
  • Also, we have easy access to the fish pond for harvesting and feeding.
  • Before beginning fish farming test the water carefully.
  • Recognize the modern technical way of risk management.
  • Fish feed is important for a successful business.
  • For the fish farming business, permission and legal compliance are needed.

Pond design and construction

After selecting your farm area, construct a suitable fish pond. Before constructing the pond, make a good design and make the pond according to your desired design. It is useful you can consult with the nearest fisheries institute to learn more about specific pond designs for specific fish species.

Always try to maintain a good environment in the fish pond. A good environment helps to live and grow the fish well, and it involved better production and maximum profits.

Water requirement for fish farming

For rearing fish, a constant water supply is vital. Carefully find a place where there is an interrupted source of fresh and clean water. Locate a place near the river, lake, streams, or even boreholes. Also, the fish pond must be about 0.7 meters deep so you can have successful farming.

Fish feed requirements

After selecting the right fish species, let us see how you feed them. Fish need to feed well to grow healthy for a successful business. Then, this means that buying them supplements will increase their productivity. The fish population must however be limited to ensure that they do not compete for food.

Fish mostly feed on algae, manufactured fish feeds, or water insects. You can buy pellets that are made of soy, maize, vegetable product, and rice. Providing proper care and feed for fish will make them gain weight rapidly and grow fast. By adding some chicken droppings or fertilizer you can spur the growth of algae in the pond. They will grow rapidly, hence providing an additional food source for fish. Fish feeding is best in the morning hours and afternoon. Make sure that you don’t allow any uneaten food to remain in the fish pond for several hours. This is because it may become toxic. Ensure that you insist on the species that there are different supplementary foods for the different fish species.

Control diseases, parasites, and predators

Let the fishpond remain clean to prevent the entry of parasites and diseases. You can seek help and guidance from aquaculture professional on the correct medication can use when treating a sick fish.

Cultured species for aquaculture in the Philippines    

Aquaculture species cultured include milkfish, Nile tilapia, Mozambique tilapia, common carp, bighead carp, and others, walking catfish, North African catfish, snakehead murrel, giant gourami, barramundi, grouper, orange-spotted spine foot, vermiculated spine foot, spotted scat, giant tiger prawn, other penaeid prawns like Indian white prawn, banana prawn, greasy back shrimp, mud crab, giant freshwater prawn, lobsters, slipper cupped oyster, green mussel, abalone, and seaweed.

The aquaculture species in the Philippines are;

Freshwater aquaculture

  • Tilapia mainly Nile tilapia
  • Milkfish
  • Carp mainly bighead carp
  • Catfish

Brackish water aquaculture

  • Milkfish
  • Giant tiger prawn
  • Indo-Pacific swamp crab
  • White leg shrimp
  • Banana shrimp
  • Other marine finfish


  • Seaweeds
  • Milkfish
  • Green mussels
  • Slipper cupped oysters
  • Other marine finfish

Important species in the Philippines

Alumahan – These belong to the family Scombridae. They are common in the Philippines and are found in shallow coastal waters. Alumahan is also called Mackerel. It is also called “Indian mackerel” or simply mackerel is a common saltwater fish species in the Philippines

Bisugo – Bisugo is commonly found in tropical and salty waters which change in size as well. Relatively, they are popular in the Philippine market because they are versatile for many dishes. It is also called a threadfin bream. Also, they are called whiptail breams.

Salay Salay /Apahay – These are easy to catch although their meat is slightly coarse. They belong in the Scad family. This is a deep-bodied Scad known as “Salay Salay” in the Philippines.

Galunggong – Galunggong is popular in Philippine markets. They are found in salt waters. The mackerel scad is a species of fish of the Carangidae family.

Bangus – Bangus is also called milkfish. It is important seafood in the Pacific with the Philippines where there is a major milkfish aquaculture industry. This fish has olive-green skin with silvery scales with a milky white color bottom. It is an adaptable and sturdy fish that can mainly survive in confined spaces, which is the reason why it is widely available all over the Philippines.

Dilis – This is extremely popular in the Philippine market. It is common in shallow saltwater reefs.

Yellow-Fin – This is common in Philippine markets to be identified as “yellow-fin” tuna. This fish is found in the open waters of all tropical regions.

Kitang – This is a popular brackish water fish. In Philippine dishes it is cooked with vinegar, the process is called paksiw in Tagalog.

Maya-Maya – This is popular in Philippine markets. They vary in size that can either be small or big. They are known for their distinct red color and are found in salty environments.

Aquaculture practices in the Philippines

  • The Philippines is carried out in diverse ecosystems using various cultural systems. Milkfish is cultured in brackish water ponds and fish pens in freshwater lakes. Probably no other aquaculture species is produced under a wider range of environmental systems.
  • The level of aquaculture development in the Philippines varies greatly from one species to another. Within species, the culture system ranges from extensive earthen pond systems yielding only 500 kg per hectare land, to highly intensive marine cages capable of harvesting as much as 50 000 kg in an area. Milkfish production mostly comes from brackish water fishponds.
  • Shrimp farming in the Philippines uses a different variety of systems which are mainly affected by the climate, availability of capital, location, and sources of water supply, and cost of farm inputs. Shrimp farming mainly follows the traditional, semi-intensive and intensive system. The 3rd top shrimp-producing country in the world is the Philippines specifically based on the culture of the black tiger shrimp P. monodon known as sugpo. Though, high stocking densities in pursuit of high production have led to the spread of bacterial diseases.
  • Tilapia comes from freshwater ponds and cages. In the semi-intensive monoculture of Nile tilapia in 1-meter deep earthen ponds (0.25-1 ha), fingerlings (0.25-0.5 g) are stocked at 3-5/m2.
  • Oyster and mussel farming in the Philippines takes place in open coastal waters. The methods used for oyster culture are bottom, stake, and hanging either from a rack or raft-rack. The staking process is the most commonly used. In terms of productivity, the hanging process is the most productive, followed by the stake, then the bottom method. Bottom and stake systems are used in shallow or intertidal areas.
  • For seaweed farming methods can be classified under two methods like farming in shallow waters and farming in deep waters. The stake or bottom system is used in shallow waters. Monoline, raft, and spider web systems are used in deep waters. Farming in shallow waters is the simplest and cheapest process. Farming in deep waters means increased production capacity and yield, and a higher value of the seaweed species formed. One of the main disadvantages is the higher start-up capital required.

Brackish water aquaculture in the Philippines

Brackish water ponds range from small and simple water impoundments to huge excavations of complex design. Most fish ponds are built on what used to be mangrove swamps. Brackish water aquaculture is also called coastal aquaculture. It is a rapidly expanding farming activity in the overall fisheries development.

Milkfish – Most milkfish species are produced in the western Visayas, central Luzon, northwestern Luzon, and western Mindanao. Milkfish producers use the extensive culture method with stocking densities of 3,000-7,000/ha. The semi-intensive culture system is now gaining interest among milkfish farmers.

Tiger shrimp – Many shrimp hatcheries closed due to a lack of customers. But the shrimp farmers are now plagued with some serious environmental problems like self-pollution, which causes diseases, poor growth, and high mortality.

Freshwater aquaculture in the Philippines

Nile tilapia – The fish species is well established in lakes, rivers and reservoirs, and fishponds throughout the Philippines.

Milkfish, carps, catfishes – The production of carps including the bighead carp and common carp from ponds and cages.

The Philippines has about 330 freshwater fish species. An example is Sardinella tawilis is a freshwater sardine found only in Taal Lake. Other exotic fish species were also introduced to the lake.

Management applied to main fisheries in the Philippines

The National Wetlands Action Plan for the Philippines mainly identifies the following challenges of priority inland wetlands;

  • Deforestation of upland and mangrove forests
  • Lack of soil conservation for wetlands
  • Biological pollution (introduction of exotic species)
  • The prevalent practice of drainage for agriculture
  • Increasing saltwater intrusion
  • Contamination of freshwater sources

It employs a localized approach to management and community-based participation, even as it is premised on the larger framework of sustainable growth, the prevention of harm, and the continuity of a healthful ecology for the subsequent generation. To provide maximum sustainable yields from resources, the problems in the lake are probably the most complicated among the inland waters.

Care and maintenance in fish farming

  • Fisheries play an important role in food security and livelihood and are a source of income and social growth in developing countries.
  • The basic solution for obtaining better fish yields is good management practices. Some sustainable methods are chosen to make pond preparation.
  • Feed daily during morning and afternoon at one portion of the fish pond. Supplement feeds are useful to gain the total body weight of the fish.
  • By adding more fertilizer maintains the natural fish food. Then, place chicken droppings in sacks and suspend them in the water for the fish pond. Put about 2.5 kg of chicken manure per bag.
  • Maintain a water level depth of about 1 to 1.5 meters.

Fish Marketing in the Philippines

Shorter distribution channels characterize the fish marketing in the country. The system was created with the inherent characteristics of aquatic products. There are mainly four different types of middlemen engaged in fish marketing;

  • Brokers,
  • Wholesalers,
  • Wholesalers-retailers,
  • Retailers.

Tilapia fish is sold to intermediaries, restaurants, and family members. Between 5% and 19% of farmers in the Philippines can sell their fish to restaurants. Operators of small tilapia ponds keep some of the fish for home consumption. Operators of ponds for milkfish are market-oriented.

Role of credit in marketing fish

Credit has been crucial in;

  • Developing the fisheries sector, including aquaculture,
  • Alleviating rural poverty,
  • Improving employment opportunities,
  • Providing a nutritional diet,
  • Increasing export earnings.

Fish traders buy and sell types of fish from freshwater, brackish-water, and marine water fish farming. The majority of traders about 70% obtain their supply directly from fish producers and only 30% from wholesalers. By dealing directly with fish producers, traders are exploring possibilities of increasing profits.

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Sours: https://www.agrifarming.in/aquaculture-in-the-philippines-how-to-start

How to Raise Tilapia in the Backyard

Tilapias are economically important food fish for Filipinos. Also, among the easiest and most profitable fish to farm. Tilapias are hardy and tolerant to a wide range of environmental factors making them easy to culture. If you have a hectare of land, a portion of it can be converted to a fishpond where you can raise your organic tilapia.

Here are some tips from the Davao-based Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation, Inc.:

Site selection

Select a site where water is accessible throughout the year. It should be well exposed to sunlight, which hastens the growth and multiplication of small aquatic plants called algae (“lumot”), which serve as food for the tilapia. More important, it should not be flooded during rainy season.

Pond preparation

The size of the pond should be determined by the number of fish you want to raise. A good guide is 2-3 mature fish per square meter of water surface. The depth of the pond should be one meter with water not less than three-fourths meter deep. Manage the water so that it will not flow continuously through the pond.

To insure that no fish will escape, fine-meshed bamboo or fence should screen ponds that have waterways connecting them to canals or outside water. Both the inside and outside end of each waterway should be screened. Use big bamboos for inlets and outlets for small ponds.

Pond fertilization

Since the pond is newly constructed, you have to apply fertilizer. Do this one week before stocking. Apply chicken manure on the pond bottom with water depth of about 6 centimeters at the rate of one kilo for every 10 square meters.

Fertilize the pond once a month to insure good production of algae. You can either use commercial fertilizer or organic matter like manure, compost, ipil-ipil leaves, etc. If you do not have organic matter, apply every month one-half kilo of urea and one half kilo of 15-15-15 for even, 100 square meters of water surface.

Securing fish fingerlings

Obtain your first supply of young tilapia from any reliable fishpond owner. One source of tilapia fingerlings is the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation, Inc, in Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. If fingerlings are unavailable, you need about 20-30 pairs of good breeders to start reproducing in your tilapia pond of 10 x 20 feet. If fingerlings are available, you will need to plan on about 5 to 6 fingerlings per square meter of water surface area. The most common breeds of tilapia available are: Nilotica, Mozambique, and GIF (genetically modified).

Stocking the pond

Before stocking the pond with tilapia, be sure to drain it thoroughly and remove the weeds and unwanted fish that may be present. Allow your pond to dry up until it cracks before refilling with fresh, clean water. Fertilize the pond one week before stocking.

Stock the pond either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the water temperature is low in order to avoid weakening of the fish. Allow the water in the pond to mix gradually with the water in the fish container before putting the fish into the pond.

Care and maintenance

– Feed daily during morning and afternoon at one portion of the pond. Supplement feeds with fine rice bran, bread crumbs, earthworms, termites, and others at an initial rate of 5% of the total body weight of the fish.

– Maintain the natural fish-food by adding more fertilizer. Place chicken droppings in sacks and suspend in the water at every corner of the pond. Put 2.5 kg of chicken manure per bag.

– Maintain a water level depth of 1-1.5 meters. Gradually remove excess fingerlings after the third month of stocking. Retain six fingerlings per square meter. (As another source of income, you can sell those excess fingerlings to other farmers in the area.)

– Plant “kangkong” and “gabi” at one portion to provide shade for the fish during hot weather and to serve as growing media for natural fish food. Water lily also provides shade. However, do not totally cover the pond with plants as this will interfere with the natural food production process.

– Prevent seepages and leakages by patching them with muds. Clear the pond dikes of weeds.

– Check the gates occasionally to prevent entry of other fish species and avoid loss of stock. If your home lot is easily flooded, place stones around the top of dikes to prevent the escape of fish if the water overflows.

– Find ways to keep the mudfish (”haluan”) out of your tilapia pond. The mudfish is a ferocious predator of tilapia fingerlings and ever larger fish.

– Plant more trees within the sources of water to maintain the flow. Protect the riverbeds from toxic waste water and pesticides and avoid dumping of garbage.
– Plant trees and grasses near the dike to avoid erosion.


You can harvest tilapia by using a dip net or a lift net. Lower the net down to the bottom of the pond and spread a small amount of feed on the water just above the net. Lift the net as fast as possible to prevent the escape of the tilapia. After harvesting, stock the pond again.

Integrated farming

Research at the MBRLC shows that you can make your fishpond more productive and profitable by raising a pig at the site of the pond. Pig wastes go directly to the pond and help to fertilize the tiny plants that serve as the tilapia’s main food. Tests have proven that tilapia cultured in this kind of pond can be eaten without any harmful effect. Many farmers in Mindanao have already adopted this technology in their own fishponds.

Uses of tilapia
Tilapia is a good quality food and has a firm and delicious flesh. Unlike milkfish (“bangus”), it has few fine bones.

Tilapia is suitable also for processing into dried, salted dried, smoked or pickled products. It is a good insect and worm predator and is known to help clean many injurious insects from ponds. To a certain extent, tilapia can help in keeping down the number of mosquito larvae, thus preventing them from developing into troublesome and harmful mosquitoes.

Sources: agribusinessweek.com, wikipedia.org

Sours: https://businessdiary.com.ph/1142/how-to-raise-tilapia-in-the-backyard/
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Aquaculture in the Philippines was initially dominated by milkfish (Chanos chanos). Today, tilapia, after a slow beginning, is the second most important fish cultured in the Philippines.

Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) was introduced in the 1950s, but was not well accepted by consumers. During the 1970s, successful commercialization of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) started. Consumers have shown much greater acceptance of the Nile tilapia.

In the Philippines, the fisheries sector is an important contributor to employment and income, export earnings, and protein sources for the local populace. Aquaculture production has shown a steady increase since the 1950s.

Tilapia Production in the Philippines (Source: FAO)
Tilapia Production in the Philippines (Source: FAO)

Tilapia are found in rivers, ponds, and lakes in the Philippines. Pond farming of tilapia began in the Central Luzon ponds in the 1950s. Advances in culture techniques based on research in the Philippines, along with international help, led to rapid production increases. A low-cost sustainable strain of tilapia, referred to as Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) help spur production.

Tilapia production from freshwater ponds increased from approximately 14,000 MT (metric tons) in 1985 to 66,000 MT in 2002. In 2013, tilapia culture raised over 270,000 MT in the Philippines.

According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), most tilapia production in the Philippines comes from freshwater fishponds (53.88 percent) and the remainder from freshwater fish cages (37.85 percent), brackish water fishponds (6.75 percent), freshwater fish pens (1.40 percent), brackish water fish cages (0.06 percent), brackish water fish pens (0.04 percent) and marine fish cages (0.01 percent). The table provides some information on culture systems, location, stocking density, and feeding practices.

Different culture systems for tilapia grown in the Philippines

Tilapia production will most certainly continue to flourish in the Philippines as the country strives to meet the demands of a growing population. Whether the Philippines will develop an export tilapia market is uncertain.

Sours: https://www.aquanet.com/philippines-tilapia

Starting a Backyard Tilapia Production Business


Image: fishfarming.com

Tilapia is the second most important freshwater food in the Philippines. The most important species is the Nile Tilapia (Tilapia Nolitica). Tilpia grows very fast and reaches marketable weight of at least 200 grams in less than six months. A backyard fishpond for tilapia will increase family income because it is a good quality food suitable for processing into dried, smoked, or salted dried.

I. Estimated Investment Cost
Tilapia Estimated Investment Cost

II. Procedure

Fishpond Selection and Preparation

1. Select Fishpond with the following characteristics:
– Clay soil to hold water
– Water is accessible throughout the year and can be sourced from river, spring, deep-well, rain or tap water. It must be free from pesticide contamination and pollution.
– Site is elevated for water to flow easily.
– Pond size could be 30-200 sqm. initially and can be expanded.
– Should not be flooded during the rainy season and has enough sunlight.

2. Level the bottom of the pond to prevent seepage.
3. Conduct pond treatment only in concrete ponds to remove the toxic effect of cement. Do this by washing, flooding, and draining the pond at least three (3) times.
4. Fertilize with organic fertilizer (chicken manure) at a rate of 1kg/sqm.
5. Fill the pond with water at an initial depth of 5-10 cm after the application of organic fertilizer for a week. This would allow the growing of algae to serve as natural feed for the fish. Growth can be observed through the greenish coloration of water.
6. Fill the pond with water to the desired level between 1m to 1.5 m
7. To ensure no fish will escape, fine-meshed wire should screen the drainage area (pipe).


1. Stock during the early morning or late in the afternoon when the water is cool to avoid the weakening of the fish. Care should be maintained. Choose pure quality stocks and do not allow them to crossbreed with other species to preserve their genetic quality.

2. Deliver the fingerlings to the pond in oxygenated plastic bags to ensure maximum survival of the fingerlings.

3. To assimilate water in plastic bags, open the plastic bags of fingerlings to float within the pond from 30 minutes to one hour. Open the plastic bags in water to allow the fingerlings to swim freely.

4. Stock the ponds of at least 6 fingerlings/sqm. The ratio is 1 male is to 3 females. Avoid to pair many male tilapias because this tends to slow down the production of fingerlings since they tend to eat their own fingerlings due to lack of feed.

Care and Maintenance

1. Feed the tilapias twice daily (morning and afternoon) in one portion of the pond. Supplement feeds with fine rice bran, bread crumbs, earthworms and others at an initial rate of 5% of the total body weight of the fish.

2. Maintain the natural fishfood by adding more fertilizer every week. Place chicken droppings in sacks and suspend in the water at every corner of the pond. Put 2.5 kg of chicken manure per bag.

3. Maintain a water depth level of 1- 1.5 meters.

4. Gradually remove excess fingerlings after the third month of stocking. Retain 6 fingerlings/sqm. Excess fingerlings can be used in the manufacture of fish meal and as ingredient for livestock and poultry needs.

5. Plant kangkong and gabi at one portion of the pond to provide shade for the fish during hot weather and to serve as growing media for natural fish food. Water lily also provides shade. However, do not totally cover the pond with plants as these will interfere with the natural food production process.

6. Prevent seepages and leakages by patching them with muds. Clear the pond dikes with weeds.

7. Plant trees and grass near the dike to avoid erosion and avoid dumping of garbage.


1. Introduce catfish to pond to control the population of small fishes for at least three months before harvest. After 4-6 months, tilapias weigh 200-400 grams and are ready for harvest.

2. Drain the pond totally and allow fish to accommodate the lowest portion in the drainage area for easy harvesting. After harvesting stock the pond again.

Sources on procedures:
Sustainable Livelihood Options for the Philippines– An Information kit (Coastal Ecosystem). Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

III. Estimated Costing and Pricing (For 1 Kg of Tilapia)
Tilapia pricing and costing
* Estimated pricing and costing is based on a 100 sqm. concrete pond.
* Tilapia weigh at an average of 200-250 grams and are sold at 4-5 pieces for every kilo.
* The higher the volume (and larger the pond area) of production per season (more than 202 kgs.), the lower the production cost, thus further increasing the mark-up to more than 30%. The higher the mark-up, the more profits earned.
* If price per kilogram is lower compared with existing market price, increase the mark-up to more than 30%.

IV. Registration Requirements

1. Business Name registration- DTI
2. Mayor’s Permit/ Residence Certificate and Sanitary Permit
3. Tax Identification Number– BIR

Source: dti.gov.ph

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