Chanos chanos

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gonorynchiformes
Family: Chanidae
Subfamily: Chaninae
Genus: Chanos
Species: C. chanos
Binomial name
Chanos chanos
(Peter Forsskål, 1775).<ref name="test1">"Chanos chanos (Forsskål, 1775)." (accessed on January 17, 2008)</ref>

Chanos chanos is the scientific name of bangus, a fish that has become a Philippine national symbol. Known in English as milkfish, it is the lone living species in the family of Chanidae and is most closely related to carps and catfish.



Milkfish vary in color but in the Philippines, white or silver species are the the most dominant. It is found chiefly in marine and brackish (slightly salty) waters and occasionally in freshwater. In the Philippines, it is cultured extensively in ponds. Bangus has a swim bladder and reaches 1.7 meters in length. It thrives on algae and invertebrates<ref name="test2">"Chanos chanos, Milkfish." (accessed on January 17, 2008)</ref>.

Occurrences in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have been sighted, with schools tending to congregate around coasts and islands with reefs. The young fry lives at sea for two to three weeks afterwards migrating to mangrove swamps, estuaries, and sometimes lakes then return to sea to mature sexually and reproduce.

As Food

Milkfish is an important commodity in the Philippines. Many milkfish products such as daing na bangus (marinated milkfish), rellenong bangus (stuffed milkfish), lumpiang bangus (bangus rolls), and tinapang bangus (smoked milkfish) are consumed by Filipinos, as well as exported to other countries. Many Filipino dishes can be prepared using this fish. Among the favorites of the Filipinos are sinigang na bangus and paksiw na bangus.


Milkfish production represents one of the main sectors of the nation's fisheries industry. It is the number one industry of the municipality of Dagupan, a province in Pangasinan. On September 1, 2007, Dagupan Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr. ordered that “Dagupan bangus” be properly labeled to distinguish their genuine bonuan bangus (home-grown bangus) from "alien" bangus, which come from other provinces and have an offensive smell and taste of gilik or mud. Dagupan proclaims itself as the "Bangus Capital of the World."<ref name="test3">Abs-Cbn Interactive, Dagupan bangus now labeled</ref>

Although its production has considerably increased in the past years. Its industry in the country, however, is still confronted with problems such as inadequate fry supply, high cost of farm inputs, lack of technology, lack of manpower, and a multi-layered marketing system.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources implements programs that will increase milkfish production and sustain its fry requirements. It also has other programs equipped to generate the use of milkfish for livelihood opportunities. Improvement of the quality of its processed products is also a major undertaking.

Projects to achieve this programs include establishment of milkfish hatcheries and processing plants and creation of markets for low quality milkfish as fish bait. "Road maps" are also being developed to determine areas with low and high supply of milkfish. Regions with over production can supply those with scarce milkfish supply.

Central and Satellite Bangus Hatcheries

Milkfish Hatcheries found in the Philippines<ref name="test4">Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic resources, MILKFISH." (accessed on January 17, 2008)</ref>:

A. Central Hatcheries

B. Satellite Hatcheries


External Links


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