Spawning: effective strategy to restore deminishing ayungin population

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As part of the overall agenda of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to produce the harvest in agriculture and fisheries and to conserve resources in the natural environment from where farms and fishery enterprises depend on the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), in partnership with NBN Channel 4’s Mag-Agri Tayo, documented a promising technology in fisheries research, specifically, the production of endangered Leiopotherapon plumbeus locally known as “ayungin”. Found in Laguna de Bay, “ayungin” is a freshwater fish is considered as the tastiest fish among all the edible native fresh water fishes in the Philippines but is under threat due to excessive fishing.

The Limnological Research Station of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB-Limno) which is based in Mayondon, Los Banos, developed a technology to save the declining population of “ayungin” through induced spawning. This method can be used in aquaculture to save the diminishing population of ayungin.

According to Dr. Pablo P. Ocampo, manager of UPLB-Limno, the collected ayungin from Laguna de Bay responded very well in the experiment that they conducted. In fact, ayungin brood stocks have already spawned through the use of chemical hormones, the material used to induce spawning.

Dr. Ocampo said that the technology is still being refined but it should be available soon for commercial application.

The UPLB Limno is the leading research station for limnology and biology of aquatic organisms in the Philippines. The station houses three research laboratories: Laboratory for Ornamental Fishes, Captive Breeding Laboratory, and Biology Laboratory.It also maintains fish hatcheries and grow-out ponds.

In line with its vision to become a sanctuary for the conservation of endagered endemic freshwater species and serve as a hub for the dissemination of aquatic-related technologies, the station spearheaded the crafting of the “Fish Ark Philippines: Direction for the Conservation of Native and Endemic Philippine Freshwater Fishes” that provides the directions for the conservation of native and endemic Philippine freshwater fishes.

The UPLB Limno facility, through the leadership of Dr. Ocampo, has the following goals: 1) develop optimum utilization and sustained production of aquatic resources; 2) conduct limnological studies; 3) conduct training and extension activities on different aspects of aquarium fish production; 4) develop culture techniques for live feeds; 5) develop new aquarium varieties from indigenous fish species; and, 6) conduct captive breeding on some selected endemic/endangered freshwater fish species.(Edmon B. Agron)

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