Milkfish Production: Best 10 Method

Milkfish Production

About Milkfish Production Milkfish, also known as the opah or chilling fillet, is a saltwater fish that thrives in tropical and subtropical climates.

They are found in warm ocean waters from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. These fish have a hard, bony heads and oily flesh.

Milkfish Production

Most Milkfish are commercially caught with purse seine nets near inshore coastal areas at depths of up to 100 meters, but recreational fishers can net them near shore.

How Do Milkfish Production?

A fish trap or fish weir is a simple device consisting of a frame with gaps that can be adjusted to control the size of the entrance.

The frame is made of metal or wooden poles, or even plastic, with a framework of netting over which water is poured and supported by floats.

When fish enter the trap, they become trapped between the netting and the framework, thus providing a “net” for catching them.

Best Method Milkfish Productions

The Milkfish is not considered a desirable fish for food with its bony head and oily flesh. But due to its high tolerance for poor conditions, it is an ideal fish for farming in areas where other species would have difficulty surviving.

The low price of Milkfish makes it a popular food in many tropical countries, where local people develop interesting recipes using the fish.

The Best 10 Method Of Milkfish Production

Here Are The Best 10 Method Of Milkfish Production

1. Flow-through system

2. Semi-closed system

3. Recirculating system

4. Open pond system

5. Floating cage culture method

6. Ocean ranching

7. Rearing in brackishwater ponds

8. Rearing in freshwater ponds with supplemental feed  

9. Rearing in freshwater ponds without supplemental feed

10. Rearing in brackish water ponds with supplemental feed

Milkfish Characteristics

  • Size: The Milkfish is usually between 35cm-40cm and a maximum of 60 cm.
  • Weight: They vary in weight, depending on the harvest area and the product. From 50 grams to hundreds of kilograms in some parts of Asia
  • Growth Rate: In some areas, Milkfish have been recorded as growing at 0.5 cm per day
  • Life span: 15years or more. Some even live more than 60years.
  • Reproduction: Milkfish spawn in the winter. The milkfish eggs hatch after 3 to 5 months, and the fry swims to the water’s surface. By their fourth week of life, they are large enough to move out of their nursery areas and join other milkfishes near open water. In some areas of Asia, where females reach sexual maturity at five years old, they can start spawning again after 15 years old.


Milkfish are commonly found off the coasts of Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They are also cultured in the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and Korea, and as far west as Hawaii.

There are numerous other countries where they are also found in aquafarms or captivity. Milkfish can range from a light pink color to a brighter white and even golds, purples, oranges, and yellows. The bright colors of the fish give them their name because it looks like they have milky blood in their bodies.


Milkfish are hermaphrodites, meaning there is one ovary and one male reproductive organ. They can be categorized into “male” and “female” forms, with the female looking similar to the male but with ovaries.

The eggs hatch after 3 to 5 months and the fry swim to the water’s surface. By their fourth week of life, they are large enough to move out of their nursery area and join other milkfishes near open water.


The Milkfish is a large, fish-like piscine belonging to the family Myliobatidae. They have a hard, bony head with a gelatinous covering, which can be peeled off like plastic wrap.

They have oily flesh and are silvery in color. As the milkfish ages, their skin tends to become darker in color. Milkfish can reach up to 7 kg but are mostly caught around 3 kg in size.

Life Spam

Milkfish have a life expectancy of 15 years or more. Some live more than 60 years. The maximum known age of a wild milkfish is 63 years and 4 months, so it can be assumed that there are males in captivity that have been kept alive over this long time.


Milkfish are popular and are highly sought after in countries such as Thailand, Japan, and Korea. You can purchase Milkfish and other fish products at a local fish shop.

They are usually sold live in the market, but some shops prefer to sell frozen Milkfish. Milkfish have a high demand as food in Thailand.

The meat is eaten as it is or minced with chili pepper and salt after thawing out. It is most often used in stir-fry dishes, especially vegetables and tofu. Stuffed herring or seafood balls are also popular.

Overview of Milkfish Production

Milkfish is the most widely cultured fish in Thailand, with over 700 farms. In 2016, Thailand exported $17.6 million (THB 980 million) worth of Milkfish and other products.

 With farm yields of around 50 kg of Milkfish per hectare, many farmers have been forced to shut down their farms due to competition from cheaper fish farmed in Indonesia, Vietnam, and China.

Special Notes

Can you raise Milkfish in your fishponds? Yes, it is possible on a small scale. I have kept them beside Koi and Goldfish successfully in my ponds. However, I do not recommend them as feeder fish.

As they grow to be quite large and have a rather boney head, they are better suited to the aquarium or as a food item.


In ponds, lagoons, and even fields with rice paddies, milkfish farming is carried out. The farms can be small, from 10 to 100 hectares.

The fish are usually bred in tanks for about 2-6 months before the females are transferred to their final cages in the farm ponds. I hope this article has been helpful; please feel free to leave a comment if you have further questions about Milkfish. Thanks for reading this article.

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