Alsons to expand aquaculture business in Sarangani

By Jordeene B. Lagare@jordeenelagare

March 27, 2023 12:00:00

Alsons Aquaculture Corp. (AAC), a company under the Alcantara Group, is undertaking a P200-million expansion project in the municipality of Alabel in Sarangani province.

In a filing with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Environmental Management Bureau, AAC said the project will be developed within the SACI Compound in Barangay Maribulan with a production capacity of 5,000 tons annually.

This inland-based fishery and aquaculture project—specifically, a tilapia hatchery—covering an area of 1.93 million square meters or 193.6801 hectares, is intended to increase its production capacity by installing an additional pond to cope with the market demand.

It will accommodate additional production of tilapia and prime bangus for Alabel; thus, gradually contributing to the increased level of food security in the area.

The project will be implemented in three phases over a span of three years, with the first phase or the preconstruction stage involves preparing the project site for building the aquaculture facilities.

The second phase entails the construction of the aquaculture facilities comprising fishponds, a hatchery, a nursery and a processing factory.

Meanwhile, the operational phase includes the actual functioning of the aquaculture plants covering fish stocking, feeding, monitoring and harvesting as well as processing and distribution of collected fish.

Its major components include aquaculture ponds, natural food, sabalo ponds, a reservoir for algae, larval ponds, a packing house, a power house, salt water intake structures, salt water channels, domestic water tanks and pumps and bioponds.

According to AAC, the proposed project will address food security which has been a concern in most countries worldwide.

Citing the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 12 percent or 995 million people of the world's population are undernourished as of 2020, mostly from Asia, Pacific Islands, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fish is among a staple food for Filipinos next to rice, consumed on a daily basis.

"Primarily, fish catch from municipal fisheries cannot sustain the growing demand for fish and fish products," the filing stated.

"Moreover, the proposal to expand aquaculture in the Buayan River and Sarangani Bay is a potential idea that can contribute to the region's economic growth," the document read.

It may utilize the area's natural resources to encourage sustainable aquaculture methods by harnessing brackish water from the river and bay.

Brackish water—a combination of fresh and salt water—can host many aquaculture species such as milkfish (bangus), tilapia and shrimp. INQ