Alsons Aquaculture hoping to quadruple tilapia harvest

ALABEL, SARANGANI — Alsons Aquaculture Corp. (AAC) is installing another in-pond raceway system (IPRS) pump technology in a bid to quadruple tilapia harvest from its Sarangani facility.

“Since we can’t expand land anymore, Alcantara will install another P30-million IPRS next year,” said AAC Technical Services Supervisor Dennis J. Pelaez told reporters during a facility tour on May 18.

This IPRS helps to increase yields and promote sustainability in fish farming, allowing the cultivation of fish at higher densities.

Mr. Pelaez said under the IPRS system, water is recirculated without the need for discharging.

He added that the harvest in a two-hectare pond is typically around 30 tons, but a single IPRS-powered pond can generate 120 tons.

The company exports processed products under the Sarangani Bay brand to Europe, the Middle East, and the US.

AAC said aquaculture businesses continue to be hampered by the elevated cost of feeds and risk of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV).

“In aquaculture, the challenging part is how to get rid of the WSSV in the crustaceans. In fish, we don’t have a problem,” he said.

The shift to producing more tilapia and milkfish was attributed to the risk of WSSV, with an outbreak detected in March 2023.

“Instead of vannamei (shrimp), we switched to tilapia. We had some losses, but we were able to produce additional tilapia, and managed to recover,” he said.

AAC is the aquaculture unit of the Alcantara Group. — Aubrey Rose A. Inosante