Is Philippines’s Most Expensive Fish Losing Market?
Ludong fish or scientifically called Cestraeus Plicatilis is a kind of fish species in the Philippines which is also locally called Banak which are largely seen in great number in the Cagayan River and river systems of Ilocos Sur and Abra Philippines, are recently reported in great danger of extinction. The decline of Ludong’s population on aforementioned rivers in the Philippines was cause by irregularities and not systematized fishing activities of local fishermen who fish and catch ludong anytime they want and whatever the size of the Ludong they will able to catch, that is if it is youngster or adult ones. Thus, ludong are being driven away and their habitat on the river systems which I mentioned earlier is of course destroyed by the threats of irregular fishing activities; plus a climate change can be added to the cause of slowly extinction of ludong. For ludong is an herbivorous kind of fish that feeds on algae and other similar living green thing in the river.
Thus, Philippines’ Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources or BFAR have been compelled to issue an issuance (Fisheries Administrative Order [FAO] No. 31) that bans or prohibits the sale, purchase, capture, preparation and serving of ludong or banak for either public or private consumption at their peak seasons or the seasons where Ludong are in great number, to prevent their total extinction. For according to BFAR, every year the population of ludong drops and it is estimated to be dropping around 1.3 million metric tons of them in total declining years. Moreover, not only ludong’s population declines successively every year, but also ludong’s sizes reduce into smaller fraction of fishes, according to BFAR.
The cause of decline of ludong fish can majorly be influence by its very expensive cost in the wet market; for every kilo of ludong fish cost between Php.4, 000 to Php.5, 000 which is really staggering. Thus, because of its very expensive cost, it was dubbed as the “President’s Fish” or a fish which only a financially rich person could afford and enjoy to eat.
Perhaps, ludong’s very expensive cost in the wet market plays a major role for its annual extinction and reduction of sized which cause local fishermen to exploit ludong’s population. For imagine, if a fisherman have caught a 1 kilo of ludong, he has for sure an instant Php. 4,000 or Php. 5,000 once he sold it on fish market; what more, if he caught a 5 kilos of ludong? What a nice source of income, is not it?