Philippines is eyeing to import galunggong to meet the local demand.
Almost all stalls in the wet market of Quezon City sell round scad or galunggong for five years. This may be driven that galunggong is one of Filipinos’ staple fish.
As Christmas is near, the price of the round scad is getting more expensive. Unfortunately, the lowest price per kilo is at Php 160. Despite of the numerous round scad sellers, local production continuously decline for five year and since 2008, domestic demand has not met yet.
Need to Import Galunggong
According to the report in BusinessMirror, the vast water sources of the country is not enough to supply the local demand. Thus, the Philippines need to import from Vietnam, Taiwan and China to satisfy the needs and wants of the Filipinos.
Subsequently, Undersecretary Eduardo Gongona of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) explained that “we have a demand of 300,000 MT but we only produce about 125,000 MT of galunggong locally, so we really have to import.”
The significance of importation is to maintain and provide the employment in canneries of galunggong. Gongona clearly stated that there is nothing wrong with importation as long as what the country imports are less than what is produced locally.
Gongona suggested to increase production in order to address food security. However, according to the report in the BusinessMirror, Dr. Nygiel B. Armada, chief of party of the USAID FishRIGHT Project said that food security isn’t just about increasing production and feeding the current population.
According to the report, Armada explained that most people equate food security only with supply, but stressed that Filipinos need to change their perspective toward it. “If you look only at how much you catch, you will think that it’s [production] is still okay,” until it no longer is.
Armada found out in their research that stocks of galunggong has reached at a certain steady point of production. Moreover, Armada explained further that since fish can reproduce a lot, and if you reach that critical point, a little difference in the number of stocks can have a big effect on the availability of round scad in the waters.
Fishing closure is the solution that is identified. Armada imparted the solution that this will enable to revive the resource because we have already decimated parent stocks, such that the young that comes out of it are no longer enough for the harvesting of the various fishers.
Armada highlighted that “if you only fish what is enough and right, you can still harvest in the future.”