It was not a case of red-tagging among residents of San Nicolas Town in Ilocos Norte as they simply got a glimpse and a taste of red tilapia which was recently distributed for free.
Around 350 kilos of red tilapia which were grown in a communal small water impounding project (SWIP) in Barangay Bugnay were given away as part of an ongoing five-month study that is looking into the economic viability of that type of fish.
The red tilapia is a crossbreed of three kinds of tilapia: Oreochromis mossambicus, Oreochromis niloticus, and Oreochromis aureus.
“This is an ongoing project and it is now on its second trial. The province is a pilot site for the freshwater cages while Pangasinan tested it in marine cages,” said Aldrin Taoatao, aquaculturist and study leader at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Ilocos Norte.
Most of those who benefited from the catch were residents who were under lockdown due to a recent surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Residents of Barangay Barong in Dingras town and Barangay San Agustin in San Nicolas received the fresh harvest on Friday, April 30.
The project was funded by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research to showcase red tilapia in marine and freshwater cages in the region.
To assist poor villages struggling for food while on indefinite lockdown, authorities harvested the freshwater-grown red tilapia, touted as a potential livelihood.