Golden bangus an attraction at BFAR

April 17, 2012 at 8:43 am 2 comments


By Yolanda Sotelo
DAGUPAN CITY- The 1.2 kilo-bangus may not be worth its weight in gold but it is fast becoming an attraction at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources because of its golden scales and head.
The golden bangus made its presence felt just as the city is celebrating its 11th Bangus Festival.
The “golden bangus” aged one year and four months, could be a freak of nature, much like albinism, BFAR center chief Westly Rosario said. The rare bangus has golden scales, head, fins and tails, which are usually silver in “normal” bangus.
(Albinism, according to Wikipedia, is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin. Albinism results from inheritance of recessive gene alleles and is known to affect all vertebrates, including humans.)
Albinism is only the possible explanation for the “golden bangus” because there was no scientific intervention to produce such variety, Rosario said.
“It is unlike red tilapia which is produced by crossing two species which are Oreochromis niloticus and Orechromis mosambicus , the golden bangus could be a freak of nature because there is only one species of bangus which is Chanos chanos,” he explained.
Whatever the cause, BFAR people are hoping that the golden bangus will be a symbol to improve the industry, he said. The BFAR center also wants it to be its “mascot.”
Rosario said he has seen a golden bangus seven years ago in Taiwan, but this is the first time that such kind was reported in the Philippines
The bangus was donated by fishpond operator Ariel Fernandez of Tocok, Binmaley, who returned the golden bangus everytime it got accidentally harvested. The fishpond is owned by Rafael Ferrer.
“Some people believe that the golden bangus, or anything that is not ordinary, brings good luck, so the bangus was spared every harvest. When he (Fernandez) mentioned it to me, I asked him to donate it to the BFAR for breeding purposes,” he said.
Bangus becomes sexually mature after about five years so it may take a long time yet before the golden bangus would breed. It was not known yet if the golden bangus is a male or female.
“It is possible that some progeny from the golden bangus, when crossed with the silver bangus, would likely also be golden, but that remains to be seen,” Rosario said.
The golden bangus was isolated in a one-ton tank where it would stay to become strong.
“The question now is, since milkfish is called as such because of its milky or whitish color, how do we call now the golden bangus,?” he said.

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