Starting a Business: Smoke Fish Tinapa

how to start a business smoked tinapaSmoke fish or Tinapa is fish cooked/ preserved through smoking and is a Filipino native delicacy. It has a two-stage process; the brining part, which gives it a good salty taste and makes it moist; and the smoking part, which cooks the fish and gives it the smoky flavor.


    • Cost of Utensils
  • Cutting Board – P60.00
  • Strainer, Bowl, 8pcs @P155.00 each – P1,240.00
  • Knife – P110.00
  • Wooden Spoon – P50.00
  • Measuring Cup – P45.00
  • Big Basins, 5 pcs @ P150.00 each – P750.00
  • Cooking Tongs – P70.00
  • Trays (12×8 inches) 8pcs @ P75.00 each – P600.00
  • Fire Charcoal, 20 packs @ P10.00 per pack – P200.00
  • Sawdust/wood shaving 2 packs @ P30.00 per sack – P60.00
  • Brining Container 5 pcs @ P275.00 each – P1,375.00
  • Fishnet 5m @ P17.00 per meter – P85.00
  • Polyethylene plastic (.002 thick) 100pcs @ P30.00 per pack of 100’s – P30.00
    • Equipment
  • Weighing scale for fish – P900.00
  • Plastic sealer (for sealing of plastic bag) – P800.00
  • Smokehouse (made to order) 2 pcs @ P2,500 each – P5,000.00
  • Electric stove or Gas stove 1 pcs @ P900.00 – P900.00
  • Bamboo sieves 8pcs @ P200.00 each – P1,600.00
  • Subtotal = P9,200.00
    • Raw Materials/ ingredients
  • Fresh Galunggong 20kgs @ P90.00/kilo – P1,800.00
  • Subtotal = P1,800.00
  • Ingredients
  • Salt, 1.5kg (for every 20kg of fish) @10.00 – P15.00
  • Water – P8.00
  • Subtotal = P23.00

*Based on 2009 prices.


TIP: Smoke Fish products are available throughout the year because a wide of variety of fish like lapad, tunsoy banak, kabasi, hasa-hasa, galunggong and tamban can be processed using the same technology. Except for galunggong, all other species command a higher price.


  1. Cut the fish along the back just above the backbone to split it open leaving the belly solid.
  2. Remove all internal organs and blood.
  3. Wash fish thoroughly with running water.
  4. Prepare a brine solution (i.e mixture of water and salt). For 20-kg. fresh fish use 4 gallons of water and 1.5 kls. Of salt.
  5. Place the fish in the brine solution for 30 minutes. Be sure that the fish is completely submerged.
  6. Boil the brine solution for at least 5 minutes. Boiling the brine solution aids in maintaining the firmness of the fish.
  7. Strain the cooked fish and arrange in bamboo sieves. Be sure that excess water is completely drained.
  8. Partially sundry fish for 30-45 minutes. Make sure to cover fish with fishnet to avoid contamination.
  9. Prepare smokehouse using charcoals ans sawdust or “kusot” as fuel
  10. Put fish in bamboo sieves inside the smokehouse and cover. Smoking time varies according to size and dryness of fish. Longer smoking time makes storage longer.
  11. Remove fish from bamboo sieves and let them cool in room temperature.
  12. Weigh and wrap in plastic bags, then seal.
  • Assumption: Fish Smoking is done for 22 days/month
  • Sources on procedures:

Sustainable Livelihood Option for the Philippines – An information Kit (Coastal Ecosystems. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Industrial Technology Development Institute


Product Costing

  • Direct Cost
  • Raw materials (2kg fresh fish) – P90.00
  • Ingredients used – P1.00
  • Packaging Materials for 1kg – P.20
  • Labor Cost (P382/day min wage for 20kg produced – P19.10
  • Total Direct Cost – P110.30
  • Indirect Cost
  • Water (P200.00 for 20kgs/22 days) – P0.50
  • Electricity (P750.00 for 20kgs/22 days) – P1.70
  • Contingency Cost (10% of Direct Cost) – P11.03
  • Production Cost
  • Total: Direct Cost – P11.30
  • Add: Total Indirect Cost – P12.23
  • Estimated Production Cost per Kg = P123.53

 Product Pricing

  • Production cost per kg – P123.53
  • Add: 25% mark-up of the production cost – P30.88
  • Estimated Selling Price per Kg – P154.41
  • Market Price per kg P160-200.0

*The higher the volume of production per day (more than 20 kgs) the lower production cost, thus further increasing the mark-up to more than 25%. The higher the markup, the higher the profit margin.

*If price per kg is lower compared with the existing market price, increase mark-up 25% or more.

*Labor is based on NCR Minimum Wage Rates per Wage Order No. NCR-14 effective 14, June 2008.


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