21 June 2021. Grouper, locally known as lapu-lapu, is considered a premium food fish in the Philippines. It is the 6th most exported fishery commodity of the Philippines next to shrimps, prawns, and octopus (Kohno, 1988). In 2020, the volume of production for grouper was estimated at 19,530 metric tons that contributed to 0.4% of fisheries production in the Philippines (BFAR, 2019). The gross value of grouper production in 2020 amounted to PhP 4.41 billion, an increment of 27.3 percent from 2019 value of PhP 3.47 billion. The major grouper producing regions are the Western Visayas (Region VI), Eastern Visayas (Region VIII), and Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX) (PSA, 2020).
In 2020, the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) commenced the table review of the 2008-2009 aged Philippine National Standards (PNS). Results of the table review concluded that there is a need to revise and update the PNS for Live, Chilled/Frozen Grouper (PNS/BAFPS 73:2009) particularly the product specifications, including food safety and quality parameters, based on the current regulatory and market requirements.
On 17 June 2021, an online final stakeholder consultation was conducted to enhance the PNS of the live, chilled/frozen grouper. This activity was participated by 52 stakeholders from the regulatory agencies, academe/research institutions, private sector, and civil society organizations. The consultation was facilitated by the BAFS Management Team, headed by Ms. Karen Kristine Roscom together with Ms. Farlash Pancho, Ms. Kristel Alarice Aborido, and Ms. Froline Bernas. The Technical Working Group (TWG) Chairperson, Dean Encarnacion Yap, led the discussion of the working draft.
The comments solicited during the consultation will be deliberated during the concluding meeting of the TWG in order to come up with a final PNS. The improved standard is expected to be endorsed and approved by the DA Secretary by the third quarter of CY 2021. ###
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Department of Agriculture. (2019). Philippine fisheries profile. https://www.bfar.da.gov.ph/publication.jsp?id=2375#post
Kohno, Hiroshi. (1988). State of grouper (lapu-lapu) culture in the Philippines. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/77981077.pdf
Philippine Statistics Authority. (2020). Fisheries Situation Report for January to December 2020. https://psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/Fisheries%20Situation%20Report%2C%20January%20to%20December%202020_0.pdf