Eel Industry

JUAN RAÑA is the chairman of Integrated Growers and Traders (IGAT), a private sector-led voluntary, self-help and selfregulating association composed of Philippine Eel Industry stakeholders. It is organized to promote the interest of the
Philippines in general and the eel industry in particular. The acronym “igat” is a Filipino word for eel.

The drop in the world’s eel stock tremendously favors the Philippine eel industry. The dwindling supply in Japan, the biggest market for eels, has increased its prices. To take advantage of this favorable situation, several public-private cooperation initiatives were done. It pushed for marketing, technology, conservation, value adding, financing, and benefits and incentives.

The Philippine eel industry has several comparative advantages. It has a year-round supply of glass eel. It has vast area available for aquaculture. The country’s tropical weather is ideal for eel culture. As such, the country is considered as the eel highway, a place where the spawning area of eels is located. With a strong government support in marketing, technology, financing and regulations, the country now supplies 30 – 40 percent of glass eel in Asia.

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