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31 mariculture parks to boost fish production

MANILA - The country's fish production is getting a boost with the earmarking of P86.6 million (US$1.7 million) funding for the launch of 31 new community-based mariculture parks. </b> <br><br>Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte, chairman of the House committee on fisheries and aquaculture, said the fresh funding is contained in the 2007 national budget. <br><br> Villafuerte said this would enable the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to eventually double to 62 the number of mariculture parks in municipal waters countrywide. <br><br> Mariculture parks are integrated pond systems that make it possible for small fishers to breed high-value marine species in submersible cages. <br><br> The systems are complete with support infrastructure, facilities and equipment. <br><br> The parks have empowered marginal fishing communities, allowing them to achieve significantly higher surplus production and income, while at the same time protecting marine wealth against excessive exploitation and destructive catching methods, he said. <br><br> Compared to fishponds, Villafuerte said, mariculture parks are more cost-effective for small fishers, who can easily group themselves as start-up growers and obtain cheap financing from the state-run Quedan Rural Credit and Guarantee Corp. <br><br> <i>Source: Sun.Star</i>

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