Salmon Farming Philippines: Cost & Profit Breakdown (2023)

Written by Sophia Roa in Fish Farming

Salmon farming has been projected to have cost about $50 billion since 2013, with farmers bearing more than half of those expenditures. As a prospective salmon farmer, it's essential for you to have a clear understanding of the expenses involved in the industry so you know what to expect. In this article, we'll weigh the costs against the expected profits of farming salmon.

You can start a small salmon farm with as little as ₱302,500, and monthly operating expenses can be as low as ₱115,500. To make a profit, a small salmon farm needs to sell more than 187.31 kilograms of salmon per month at a price of ₱616.64 per kilo.

To help improve your salmon farming, you may want to implement advanced technology like the land-based Recirculating Aquaculture System. But what exactly is this? Does investing in new systems and smart farming technologies sound like a good idea? Let's find out.


  • Salmon farming is one industry that meets the increasing demand for high-quality protein sources.
  • It's important to assess the production systems, facilities, and species tailored to your location and resources. The Food and Agriculture Organization suggests that the Philippines has vast potential for aquaculture development, but this requires thoughtful planning.
  • Monitor and manage environmental impacts. Global salmon farming has been known to cause harm to marine life and incur significant costs. To minimize negative impacts, ensure your farm implements best practices in waste management and water quality.
  • With denser farming practices becoming the trend in the Philippines, there is a shift toward high-density aquaculture, which puts an emphasis on efficiency and productivity. Be proactive in adopting innovative practices to stay competitive.

Cost Breakdown of Salmon Farming

In this section, we will discuss the various costs associated with salmon farming in the Philippines, focusing on the following subsections: initial investment, operational costs, feeding and nutrition costs, and hatchery and stocking costs.

Initial investment to set up your infrastructure

This includes constructing or purchasing fish cages, tanks, or pens, and essential equipment like aerators for maintaining optimal water quality. Your initial investment will also cover the cost of acquiring the necessary permits and licenses.

Investment Costs of a Salmon Farm in the Philippines Estimated Amounts
Land ₱55,000 to ₱275,000
Fish cages, tanks, or pens ₱110,000 to ₱550,000
Aerators and water quality monitoring systems ₱55,000 to ₱275,000
Fingerlings, juveniles, or smolts ₱55,000 to ₱110,000
Permits and licenses ₱27,500 to ₱110,000
Total start-up costs ₱302,500 to ₱1,320,000

Operational costs to run a salmon farm

Running a successful salmon farm requires a continuous investment in operational expenses. This includes labor wages, farm maintenance, and electricity usage. Regular monitoring of water quality and maintaining optimal conditions require energy, contributing to your electricity costs.

Operational Costs of a Salmon Farm in the Philippines Estimated Amounts (per month)
Labor wages ₱55,000 to ₱110,000
Farm maintenance ₱27,500 to ₱55,000
Electricity usage ₱5,500 to ₱27,500
Fishmeal and fish oil-based feeds ₱27,500 to ₱55,000
Total ongoing costs ₱115,500 to ₱247,500

Feeding and nutrition costs for your salmon

Feeding your stocks makes up one of the most significant portions of your operational costs. Salmon are carnivorous, which means that their feed contains a substantial amount of fishmeal and fish oil sourced from marine fish species.

High-quality feeds will contribute to the overall health and growth rate of your salmon, eventually leading to better yields and higher profits. It's important to find a balance between feed cost and quality to ensure optimal growth and a return on investment.

  • Fishmeal and fish oil-based feeds
  • Balancing feed cost and quality
  • Influence on growth rate and overall health

Hatchery and stocking costs of salmon

You will need to purchase fingerlings, juveniles, or smolts to stock your farm. These costs will depend on the size, quality, and health of the fish you acquire.

Opting for higher quality fish stocks may result in higher initial costs but will improve growth rates, survival, and overall farm productivity in the long run.

  • Fingerlings, juveniles, or smolts
  • Fish stock quality and health
  • Impact on farm productivity and profitability

Profit Analysis of a Salmon Farm in the Philippines

Let's assume that a small salmon farm produces 1,000 kilograms of salmon per month. Using the estimated costs provided earlier, the total monthly cost of production would be ₱115,500. Assuming this total cost, the cost per kilogram of salmon would be ₱115.50.

Now, if the market price of salmon is ₱616.64 per kilo, the revenue generated from selling 1,000 kilograms of salmon would be ₱616,640.

To calculate the break-even point, we need to divide the total monthly cost of production by the revenue per kilogram of salmon:

Break-even point = Total monthly cost of production / Revenue per kilogram of salmon
Break-even point = ₱115,500 / ₱616.64
Break-even point = 187.31 kilograms of salmon

This means that the small salmon farm needs to sell at least 187.31 kilograms of salmon per month at ₱616.64 per kilo to break even.

Market prices for salmon

Salmon was priced at ₱616.64 per kilogram in March 2023 in the Philippine market, a 25.70% increase from the March 2022 price.

As of 2023, the market price for farmed salmon has varied depending on factors such as quality, size, and demand. To stay up-to-date on the latest salmon market prices, you can regularly check reputable websites and local market reports.

Estimated harvest and yield affects profit

Your salmon farm's productivity, expressed as yield and harvest, affects your overall profit. The yield, typically measured in kilograms per cubic meter, depends on factors like farming techniques and the species of salmon you choose to farm. To maximize your harvest, it is essential to invest in efficient techniques and equipment, ensuring your farm operates at its highest capacity.

It is also vital to select a suitable location for your salmon farm. Ideal sites should have clean and well-oxygenated water, optimum water temperatures, and dependable currents. These factors can significantly impact your farm's performance and profitability.

Return on investment for salmon farming in the Philippines

Your estimated ROI will depend on:

  • Initial investment costs (e.g., land, equipment, infrastructure)
  • Operational expenses (e.g., feed, labor, utilities)
  • Market prices for harvested salmon
  • Your farm's production efficiency (yield and harvest metrics)

To ensure a profitable venture, you should continuously analyze and adjust these factors accordingly. Keep track of changes in market pricing, competitor activities, and new technologies to maintain a competitive edge in the salmon farming industry.

Challenges and Solutions in Salmon Farming

Environmental concerns of farming salmon

One major concern is the release of waste and untreated nutrients into the ecosystem, which can harm marine life. To minimize this issue, you can implement regular waste management practices. Monitoring local water quality can also help keep you informed and identify potential issues early.

Another challenge for salmon farms is maintaining the quality of the water in which the fish live. A well-functioning filtration system is essential for maintaining optimal conditions for your fish and reducing the risk of disease outbreaks. Keep up-to-date on new technologies that can further improve water quality management.

Disease management when farming salmon

For example, fish mortality has increased in recent years, with sea lice infestations being one of the leading causes in some regions. To tackle this issue, consider adopting preventive measures such as:

  • Regular health checks for your fish
  • Quarantine protocols for potentially infected salmon
  • Use of veterinary medicines as required

Embrace new technology and innovative solutions for disease management in your salmon farming operations, enhancing the overall health of your stock.

Government regulations and policies for salmon farming operations

Stay informed and compliant with various government regulations for salmon farming. Obtain necessary permits and licenses, and keep aware of any changes in policies that may impact your business. Attend industry conferences and workshops to stay current on best practices and regulations in your area.

Additionally, adopting sustainable operation methods and transparent practices will not only help you comply with regulations but can also increase the marketability of your products. Consumers are increasingly seeking environmentally friendly and responsibly farmed products.

Technological Innovations for Farming Salmon

In the world of salmon farming, the year 2023 is marked by advancements in technology and innovative practices. As a salmon farmer in the Philippines, it's important for you to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.

Sustainable aquaculture techniques to farm salmon

Sustainable aquaculture has become the focal point in 2023 as the industry seeks to minimize its impact on the environment while ensuring stable, long-term production. Here are some techniques you can incorporate into your operations:

  • Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA): In IMTA systems, multiple species are farmed together in a symbiotic arrangement, thereby reducing waste and ensuring resource efficiency. Such systems may include seaweed or shellfish, which can help absorb excess nutrients.

  • Land-based RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture System): Over the years, RAS technology has matured, enabling the farming of salmon on land. RAS systems allow greater biosecurity and control of the environment, thus lowering disease risk. The Florida-based Atlantic Sapphire is an example of a land-based salmon farm.

  • Alternative Feed Sources: Traditional fishmeal and fish oil have been replaced by more sustainable alternatives, such as terrestrial plant ingredients, algae-based feeds, and even insect protein, reducing the pressure on wild fish stocks.

Smart farming technologies for your salmon business

Embracing smart farming technologies is crucial for optimizing productivity, improving quality, and reducing costs. Here are some of the notable technologies you can adopt:

  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT has enabled extensive digital connectivity throughout the farm, providing real-time data on water quality, feeding rates, and fish health. This allows you to make data-driven decisions and have more efficient farm management.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI-powered tools are revolutionizing fish welfare management. One example is the use of AI technology by Cermaq, allowing them to monitor fish behavior and ensure optimal living conditions.

  • Robotics and Automation: Manually cleaning nets and inspecting underwater equipment is a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. Robotic solutions can help reduce labor costs and improve efficiency by performing these routine operations, minimizing human intervention.

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