Earn Extra Cash Through Fish Processing
Marine fish are usually plentiful during summer, so it’s best for fisherfolk to take advantage of this seasonal rise in marine production to earn extra cash.
One good business is fish processing. There are, for instance, abundant tulingan, chabita, dilis, alamang, espada, dalagang bukid, galunggong, flying fish, and dorado in the market, and these can be made into value-added products.
The Rural Improvement Club of Barangay Centro in the town of Sta. Ana, Cagayan, is doing this already. The group processes cheap fish like parrot fish or mulmol and shark into longganisa, lumpiang shanghai and nuggets, and markets these at their Barangay Bagsakan Center, which happens to have been adjudged as the Best Bagsakan Center for 2009.
They sell their products at P45 to P60 per 250 grams and at P90 to P120 per 500 grams. “Thanks to the fish processing training and equipment from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), we were able to add another hit product in our bagsakan center,” says its president Beniflor Guittap.
The employees’ cooperative of BFAR Region II also makes value-added fish products. They sell tilapia longganisa, tocino, fish lumpia and rolls.
What’s good about fish processing, says BFAR Region II fish processing expert Proserfina Reyno, is that there is no waste at all. The viscera can be turned into fish paste, the bones into fish powder, and the skin into chicharon. She adds that the products are prepared using readily available equipment, so these are ideal for small-scale livelihood ventures. And with proper handling and storage, refrigerated products can last for a week and frozen products for one month.
“The abundance of marine fishes during summer and the steady supply of farmed fishes like tilapia and bangus can be a great opportunity for RICs to engage in value-adding, aside from traditional processing method like drying, smoking and fermenting,” Reyno said.
By Max Prudencio