Bangus Fish – Milkfish – Profile | Facts | Nutrition | Bone

bangus fish milkfish
(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

The Bangus fish or milkfish, scientific name Chanos chanos is the only residing species within the family Chanidae. Nevertheless, there are no fewer than 5 extinct genera from the Cretaceous. This article will give an overview of Bangus fish or milkfish, why is it called milkfish, nutrition, bones.

Bangus fish or milkfish

The Bangus fish or milkfish species has many widespread names. The Hawaiian title for the fish is awa, and in Tahitian it’s ava.

It’s referred to as bangús within the Philippines, the place it’s popularly often called the nationwide fish, though the Nationwide Fee for Tradition and the Arts has acknowledged that this isn’t the case because it has no foundation in Philippine regulation.

Within the Nauruan language, Bangus fish or milkfish is known as ibiya. Milkfish can be referred to as bandeng or bolu in Indonesia.

Chanos chanos happens within the Indian Ocean and throughout the Pacific Ocean, from South Africa to Hawaii and the Marquesas, from California to the Galapagos, north to Japan, south to Australia.

Bangus fish or milkfish generally stays in tropical offshore marine waters around islands and alongside continental cabinets, at depths of 1 to 30 m. In addition, they continuously enter estuaries and rivers.


The Bangus fish or milkfish can develop to 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in), however, they are most frequently not more than 1 m (39 in) in size. They’ll attain a weight of about 14 kg (31 lb). and the age of 15 years.

They have got an elongated and virtually compressed body, with a typically symmetrical and streamlined look, one dorsal fin, falcate pectoral fins, and a large forked caudal fin.

The mouth of the Bangus fish or milkfish is small and toothless. Physique coloration is olive inexperienced, with silvery flanks and darkish bordered fins. They’ve 13-17 dorsal delicate rays, 8-10 anal delicate rays, and 31 caudal fin rays


These fishes typically feed on autotrophs, algae, and small invertebrates. They have an inclination to school around coasts and islands with coral reefs.

The younger fry stays at sea for 2 to a few weeks after which migrate through the juvenile stage to mangrove swamps, estuaries, and typically lakes, and return to sea to mature sexually and reproduce.

Female Bangus fish or milkfish spawns in the evening as much as 5 million eggs in saline shallow waters.

Habitat and biology

Milkfish (Chanos chanos) is the one species within the Household Chanidae. Its distribution is restricted to both low latitude tropics or the subtropical northern hemisphere alongside continental cabinets and round islands, the place temperatures are higher than 20 °C (Purple Sea and South Africa to Hawaii and the Marquesas, north to Japan and south to Victoria, Australia; and within the Japanese Pacific from San Pedro, California to the Galapagos).

Adults happen in small to massive faculties close to the coasts or around islands. They’re effectively developed, migratory, massive (as much as 1.5 m and 20 kg), and mature sexually in 5 years. Milkfish solely spawn in totally saline waters.

Within the pure setting, spawning of the Bangus fish or milkfish takes place close to coral reefs throughout the heat months of the 12 months, and populations close to the equator spawn year-round.

Bangus fish, milkfish, Chanos chanos

Juveniles and adults eat all kinds of comparatively delicate and small meal objects, from microbial mats to detritus, epiphytes, and zooplankton.

Milkfish is a heterosexual fish; hermaphrodism has not been reported. In pure spawning shares, the intercourse ratio is nearly equal, with a barely greater quantity of females.

The dedication of intercourse could be very tough, as a result of there are not any simply identifiable morphological variations between men and women; nevertheless, the pheromone PGF2a (prostaglandin) has been discovered to be an efficient method to establish mature male milkfish.

Milkfish eggs (1.1-1.2 mm in diameter) and larvae (3.5 mm at hatching) are pelagic and keep within the plankton for as much as 2-Three weeks. Egg division begins an hour after and hatching happens 35-36 hours after spawning.

Within the wild, eggs are most likely launched in deeper oceanic waters and within the outer reef area.

Older larvae migrate onshore and settle in coastal wetlands (mangroves, estuaries) throughout the juvenile stage, or sometimes enter freshwater lakes. The larvae eat zooplankton and might thrive and develop in water as heat as 32 °C.

They then migrate onshore and the place they are often caught by fine-mesh nets operated alongside sandy seashores and mangrove areas; these ‘fry’ are 10-17 mm lengthy and are used as feedstock in grow-out ponds, pens, and cages.

Within the wild, juveniles are present in mangrove areas and coastal lagoons, and even journey upriver into lakes; they return to the sea once they get too massive for the nursery habitat, or when they’re about to mature sexually.

Milkfish can attain the most dimension of 180 cm SL (male/unsexed) and 124 cm SL (feminine). The utmost recorded weight and age are kg and 15 years respectively.

Resilience is low, with minimal inhabitants doubling the time of 4.5 – 14 years. Its fisheries significance is extremely business, particularly in aquaculture, and it is usually utilized in sport fish as bait. It’s particularly valued as a meal fish in Southeast Asia.


The milkfish is crucial seafood in Southeast Asia and a few Pacific Islands. As a result of milkfish is infamous for being a lot bonier than different meals fish, deboned milkfish, referred to as “boneless bangús” within the Philippines, has change into widespread in shops and markets.

Regardless of the notoriety nevertheless, many individuals within the Philippines proceed to benefit from the fish cooked commonly and even uncooked utilizing kalamansi juice or vinegar to make kinilaw na bangus.

Common shows of milkfish in Indonesia embody bandeng duri lunak (ikan bandeng is the Indonesian title for milkfish) from Central and East Java or bandeng presto which is stress cooked milkfish till the bones are rendered tender, and bandeng asap or smoked milkfish.

Both contemporary or processed, milkfish is the favored seafood product of Indonesian fishing cities, akin to Juwana close to Semarang in Central Java, and Sidoarjo close to Surabaya in East Java.


Milkfish aquaculture first occurred around 800 years in the past within the Philippines and unfolds in Indonesia, Taiwan, and into the Pacific.

Conventional milkfish aquaculture relied upon restocking ponds by accumulating wild fry. This led to a variety of variability in high quality and amount between seasons and areas.

Within the late 1970s, farmers first efficiently spawned breeding fish. Nevertheless, they had been laborious to acquire and produced unreliable egg viability.

In 1980, the primary spontaneous spawning occurred in sea cages. These eggs had been discovered to be enough to generate a relentless provide for farms.

Farming strategies

Fry are raised in both sea cages, massive saline ponds (Philippines), or concrete tanks (Indonesia, Taiwan).

Milkfish attain sexual maturity at 1.5 kg (3.Three lb), which takes 5 years in floating sea cages, however eight to 10 years in ponds and tanks.

As soon as they attain 6 kg (13 lb), (eight years), 3–four million eggs are produced every breeding cycle.

That is primarily executed utilizing pure environmental cues. Nevertheless, makes an attempt has been made utilizing gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog (GnRH-A) to induce spawning.

Some nonetheless use the normal wild inventory methodology — capturing wild fry utilizing nets. Milkfish hatcheries, like most hatcheries, comprise a wide range of cultures, for instance, rotifers, inexperienced algae, and brine shrimp, in addition to the goal species.

They’ll both be intensive or semi-intensive. Semi-intensive strategies are extra worthwhile at US$6.67 per thousand fries in 1998, in contrast with $27.40 for intensive strategies.

Bangus fish, milkfish, Chanos chanos

Nevertheless, the expertise required by labor for semi-intensive hatcheries is greater than intensive.

Milkfish nurseries in Taiwan are extremely industrial and have densities of about 2000/L. Indonesia achieves comparable densities, however, has extra backyard-type nurseries.

The Philippines has built-in nurseries with grow-out services and densities of about 1000/L.[8] The three strategies of outgrowing are pond tradition, pen tradition, and cage tradition.

Shallow ponds are discovered primarily in Indonesia and the Philippines. These are shallow (30–40 centimeters (12–16 in), brackish ponds with benthic algae, normally used as feed.

They’re normally excavated from nipa or mangrove areas and produce about 800 kg/ha/yr. Deep ponds (2–Three m) have extra secure environments and their use started in 1970.

They up to now have proven much less susceptibility to illness than shallow ponds.

In 1979, the tradition was launched in Laguna de Bay, which had excessive main manufacturing.

This offered a wonderful meal supply. As soon as this ran out, fertilizer was utilized. They’re vulnerable to illness.

Cage tradition happens in coastal bays. These consist of huge cages suspended in open water. They rely largely on pure sources of meals.

Most meals are pure (often called lab-lab) or a mix of phytoplankton and macroalgae. Historically, this was made on a website; meals are now made commercially to order.

Harvest happens when the people are 20–40 cm lengthy (250–500 g in weight). Partial harvests take away uniformly sized people with seine nets or gill nets.

The whole harvest removes all people and results in a wide range of sizes. Pressured harvest occurs when an environmental drawback happens, akin to depleted oxygen because of algal blooms, and all inventory is eliminated.

Doable parasites embody nematodes, copepods, protozoa, and helminths.[8] Many of those are treatable with chemical compounds and antibiotics.

Processing and marketing

Conventional post-harvest processing includes smoking, drying, and fermenting. Bottling, canning, and freezing are of the latest origin.

Demand has been steadily growing since 1950.[8] In 2005, 595,000 tonnes had been harvested price US$616 million.

The development of value-added merchandise is happening. In recent times, the potential for utilizing milkfish juveniles as bait for tuna long-lining has begun to be investigated, opening up new markets for fry hatcheries.

Main issues

The principal points in milkfish farming could be summarized as follows:

Producers and shoppers have benefited from new know-how; nonetheless, broodstock know-how continues to be unreliable, and fry provide is just not absolutely managed.

Milkfish will stay a standard foodfish within the Philippines, Indonesia, and Taiwan Province of China; nonetheless, the youthful era tends to keep away from consuming milkfish due to their bony flesh; thus new markets shall be tough to create.

Excessive land values and the comparatively low worth of milkfish imply that farmers must introduce new know-how to extend unit productiveness.
Milkfish aquaculture will not rely solely on pure productiveness; the usage of formulated feed will grow to be the norm.

Extra hatcheries, particularly in Indonesia and Taiwan Province of China, are anticipated to return on-stream. This, and improved spawning know-how, is predicted to lower fry prices.
New product kinds must be developed, marketed, and marketed.
As mass manufacturing of milkfish fry in hatcheries expands, extra fingerlings will grow to be obtainable for the baitfish business.

Additional analysis and improvement in the advertising and processing of milkfish are fascinating.

Golden bangus

On April 21, 2012, a Filipino fisherman donated a milkfish with yellowish coloring to the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Sources, which was in a while referred to as the “golden bangus”.

Nevertheless, the fish quickly died, allegedly due to a decrease degree of oxygen within the pond to which it was transferred.

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