BFAR’s opens Laguna tilapia intensive hatchery

The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has successfully conducted the first trial run of its second tilapia intensive hatchery in the CALABARZON region, a development that will help boost the productivity of tilapia farmers.


Located in Los Baños, Laguna, the hatchery recorded a high hatching rate of 95 percent, which means a high number also of fry produced. At present, the hatchery has six fry trough and hatching jars, and can produce 300,000 fry in just three to five days.

Following the successful trial run, the hatchery now aims to complete four rounds of hatching per month, BFAR said.

With 95 percent hatching rate and 80 percent survival of fry, the hatchery can produce around 960,000 fry in a month. In order to achieve this, more breeders will be required.

BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona said the tilapia intensive hatchery project is expected to secure sustainable supply of fry/fingerlings and will help improve the productivity and profitability of tilapia farmers.

He further said that aside from producing high volume of quality fry and fingerlings through the application of new technologies and cost-effective methodologies, the project aims to create a model hatchery that can boost production at minimum costs.

Tilapia Intensive Hatchery is a type of artificial breeding of tilapia in which eggs are collected from the mouth of the female breeders, incubated in the Artificial Incubation System facility where they are placed in hatching jars until hatched and become swim-up fry for further rearing.

This technology differs from the other type of hatcheries wherein the breeders spawn naturally in the breeding units and eggs are incubated and hatched in the mouth of female breeders, then released from the mouth as swim-up fry.

Production in Intensive Hatchery is uniform in size and higher compared to traditional method. The economic return is also faster because production can be disposed earlier.

The tilapia intensive hatchery technology was first successfully applied by BFAR 4A in May 2019 at its Freshwater Demonstration Fish Farm (FDFF) located in Bay, Laguna. The said hatchery is now fully operational with the same high hatching rate of 95 percent.

It was only in 2016 that the intensive hatchery farming system was adopted by the government through DA-BFAR's National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center from the Aqua Farming Technology Inc. in California, USA. Since then, it has been replicated in 13 regions around the country.

In 2020, the total fry/fingerlings production was about 208.35 million, based on the consolidated accomplishment reports from BFAR Regional Offices and National Centers.

“The emergence of more tilapia intensive hatcheries around the country means more sources of fry and fingerlings in the coming years, eventually achieving the goal to supply the annual demand of 2.1 billion tilapia fingerlings,” BFAR said.