Filipinos consumed an average of 8 grams of galunggong (roundscad) a day in 1982 during the term of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, according to a nationwide nutrition survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI). This debunks the claim that Filipinos didn’t resort to eating the fish when Marcos was president.

Galunggong was the second most consumed fresh fish after tulingan (mackerel tuna) based on average consumption per capita a day, according to the survey.

High production of galunggong also made the fish “the principal catch” during the Marcos administration, according to a study by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in 1975.

The same study found that more than 30% of about one million tons of fish produced in 1970 were two species of galunggong. Fish supplied more than half of the country’s animal protein at the time, the study showed.

Due to improved fishing gear, annual total catches of galunggong soared from 18,985 tons in 1956 to 150,713 tons in 1970 – an almost 700% increase.

Marcos was president from 1965 to 1986.

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FactRakers is a Philippines-based fact-checking initiative of journalism majors at the University of the Philippines-Diliman working under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne T. Chua of the University of the Philippines’ Journalism Department. Associate Professor Ma. Diosa Labiste, also of the Journalism Department, serves as editorial consultant.

The name of the initiative, coined from the words “fact” and “raker,” is inspired by the term “muckrakers,” first used in the early 1900s by American president Theodore Roosevelt to express his annoyance at progressive, reform-minded journalists at the time.