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Preserving abo fish: Unlocking potential and enhancing livelihoods in Calabanga, Camarines Sur

By Jennifer V. Perez, MAT

Did you know that the tiger-toothed croaker, locally known as “abo”, is a type of fish found exclusively in the San Miguel Bay in the Philippines? This unique species is abundant in the region and has been a significant part of the local fisherfolks’ catch for several decades. Despite its ordinary appearance, abo fish is highly recommended by doctors for patients with spring allergies due to its valuable source of protein and essential micronutrients. Additionally, abo fish is known for its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.

The preservation and processing of abo fish have been crucial for its availability and market demand. One of the traditional preservation methods is salting, which helps prolong its shelf life. However, due to the increasing demand for abo fish, innovative approaches have been explored. In Calabanga, Camarines Sur, the commercial fishing center of San Miguel Bay, efforts have been made to expand the production of export-quality dried fish using modern technology. This initiative aims to tap into both domestic and international markets, providing livelihood opportunities for fishermen and industry workers. The municipality’s abundant supply of abo fish and other fish species like anchovy (bolinao) serve as raw materials for the dried fish products.

Apart from dried fish products, researchers are exploring alternative processes to preserve tiger-toothed croaker and discover new products. This effective preservation methods other than salting and explore the potential of abo fish beyond traditional drying techniques by lengthening the lifespan of abo fish and diversifying its product range, to create a competitive market for abo fish production. The small-scale fisherfolks in Calabanga, particularly those in Barangay Sabang and neighboring municipalities, stand to benefit from the economic opportunities and improved community livelihoods.


1. Influence of salt concentration on properties of marinated meat from fresh and frozen herring (Clupea harengus L.) Szymczak & Kolakowski 2012

2. Solar Drying Technology, Janjai & Bala 2011

3. Thin layer drying model for simulating the drying of Tilapia fish (Oreochromis niloticus) in a solar tunnel dryer, Kituu et al., 2010

4. Changes of Fatty acids profiles in fillets of Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum) during frozen stage, Aghababyan, et al., 2012


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