Pangasius is a large freshwater catfish indigenous to the countries within the Mekong Delta bordered by the Tibetan Plateau through China’s Yunan Province, Burma,    Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.  It was introduced as food fish in the Philippines both by the private sector and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources through the Indo Pacific Fisheries Commission in 1981. Breeding trials, risk assessment and culture were conducted in 1985.  However, due to the lack of market as food fish, Pangasius fingerlings were sold as “freshwater hammerhead shark” in the ornamental fish trade.


The increasing demand for Pangasius fillet in the global market and the local up-scale market has renewed the aquaculture industry’s interest in the culture of Pangasius. With an existing market demand of 5,000 metric tons for Pangasius fillet being supplied by importation from Vietnam,  strategies were developed to promote Pangasius fisheries in the upland and landlocked provinces of  Regions CAR, II, III, IV, X, XI, XII and XIII.


The recent popularity of Pangasius fillet in both global and upscale markets have revitalized the aquaculture industry’s interest in farming Pangasius as food fish.  The fish can be grown in different culture systems which include:

  • Fishpond culture system
  • Polyculture system
  • Integrated fish farming system
  • Organic Fish Farming system

The BFAR-National Inland Fisheries Technology Center has developed and packaged technologies for the breeding, culture and promotion of Pangasius as an alternative freshwater aquaculture species, in partnership with the private sector; including the establishment of Grow-Out Culture Techno-Demo Projects in Region II in 2007 showcasing different culture methodologies (i.e. fishpond, cages and organic farming). This is expected to increase Pangasius production in the country, provide import substitute, increase income and provide livelihood opportunities among local fisherfolks. In support to the National Pangasius Industry development efforts, BFAR-Region in collaboration with the LGUs, National Government Agencies and the private sector responded with the establishment and development of hatchery and grow-out culture.


BFAR Region 2 has embarked on the breeding of Pangasius, establishment of techno-demo projects and technology outreach through trainings and seminars.  Among the activities undertaken were:

  • Establishment of Pangasius hatchery facilities at Cagayan Valley Research and Outreach Station for Freshwater Resources (CVROSFR)
  • Development of the breeding and culture protocol of Pangasius under Region 2 condition
  • Promotional launching of the Pangasius Grow-Out Culture Techno-Demo Project in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Isabela.
  • Provision of technical and financial assistance for the improvement of Camalaniugan Fish Farm operated by LGU Cagayan for the production of Pangasius fingerlings.
  • Broodstock development and maintenance
  • Production and dispersal of Pangasius fingerlings to fishpond operators
  • Conducted Training Courses on Induced Breeding and Culture of Pangasius.
  • Conducted technical assistance and set up linkages & collaborative effort to private Pangasius growers and hatchery operators with financial assistance from DOST region 2 under the CAPE Program
  • Product Development through Pangasius Cooking Contest during Fish Conservation Week Celebration’ and
  • Collaborative efforts with DOST for Pangasius Industry Development




a.     Product: Whole Fresh Fish


b.     Industry Players 

1.    To date there are 30 identified Pangasius raisers involving an approximate area of 5 hectares with an average production of 10 MT per hectare per harvest.

2.    Enablers include among others e.g.

         Local Government Units both Provincial and Municipal Levels

o   Provincial Government of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino & Nueva Vizcaya

♦ National Government Agencies involved in technology development and promotion, financing, marketing and product development/post-harvest

o   Department of Trade and Industry

o   Department of Science and Technology

         Local State Universities and Colleges –

o   Isabela State University

o   Quirino State College

o   Nueva Vizcaya State University

o   Cagayan State University

       Feed distributors – Feed companies & local feed makers 

o   Santeh Aquafeeds

o   BMEG Aquafeeds

         Fish Assemblers for Local Wet Markets

o   Isabela province 

  Ilagan City, Cauayan City & Santiago City Public Market

o   Nueva Vizcaya

  Bayombong, Bagabag  & Solano Public Market

o   Quirino

  Cabarroguis, Maddela


c.     Production factors (fresh or processed)

1.    Area of Operation/s: The area of operation is covers the 4 big provinces in the Mainland of Cagayan Valley Region.


o   BFAR- Cagayan Valley Research and Outreach Station for Freshwater Resources (CVROSFR)  in San Mateo, Isabela – servicing the provinces of Cagayan South, Isabela Province, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.

o   Camalaniugan Freshwater Fish Farm – servicing the North Cagayan province area.

o   Jose Castro Hatchery Farm, Ramon, Isabela – Private hatchery farm servicing the area of Ramon, Santiago & Alicia Isabela



Area of Production


0.3 has.


4.0 has.

Nueva Vizcaya

0.5 has.


0.2 has.

Total Area

5.0 has.


2.    Volume of Production

         Hatchery 700,000 to 1,200,000 pcs of Pangasius Fingerlings/annum

o   BFAR-Cagayan Valley Research and Outreach Station for Freshwater Resources (CVROSFR) San Mateo, Isabela 

  Volume: 300,000 to 600,000 pcs fingerlings

o   LGU Cagayan, Camalaniugan Fish Farm, Camalaniugan, Cagayan

  Volume: 200,000 to 400,000 pcs fingerling

o   Jose Castro, Ramon, Isabela

  Volume:100,000 to 200,000 pcs fingerling

         Grow-out (Metric Tons)

Province / Area



3.0 MT


40.0 MT

Nueva Vizcaya

5.0 MT


2.0 MT

Total Production

50.0 MT


3.    Production Facilities, Equipment and Technology

         Three existing production facilities and equipment and technology are situated in the Region

o   BFAR-Cagayan Valley Research and Outreach Station for Freshwater Resources (CVROSFR) in San Mateo, Isabela 

o   LGU Cagayan, Camalaniugan Fish Farm in Camalaniugan, Cagayan

o   Jose Castro farm – Ramon, Isabela

o   Aljurons farm (newly established – not yet operational)


d.  Market  Description

1.    Price of fresh and processed food

         Processed into Fillet – P 135.00 per Kilogram

         Fresh Whole Fish meat – P 70.00 per Kilogram        

2.    Marketing Channels

         Wet Market

         Hotels and Restaurants 

3.    Marketing Strategies

         Advocacy on the availability of Philippines Pangga

         Promotion of Pangga fillet as raw materials in fish fillet menu in hotel and restaurants in the region.

4.    Target Market

         Hotel and Restaurants in the region

         Supermarkets and Groceries in the region

5.    Competition

         To date, imported frozen fish fillets are supplied in hotels and restaurants including groceries in the region.


e.    Productivity and Quality Programs, if any

1.    Collaborative Partnership with DOST under the Comprehensive Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Project (CAPE)

2.    Partnership with LGU-Cagayan re Production of Quality Pangasius fingerlings

3.    Conduct of Technology Demonstration in collaboration with LGU, Fishpond Owners and other Stakeholders

4.    Coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry in the marketing of the Philippine Panga in the region.