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Aquaculture Could Alleviate Shortage and High Prices

by Ellen Hardy
11 February 2008, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINES - Fish catch and production in Bohol needs to increase by at least 43 per cent, says two of the province's government agencies.

During talks regarding the high prices of fish, both the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said there is a widening gap between production and consumption of fish in the region.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa PIA, Engr. Maximiano Servillon and Ghenie Mayol of BAS and BFAR respectively, admitted that stocks were dwindling in the province's waters, due to over-fishing and bad practice. What's more, consumption has significantly increased and is simply exceeding supplies, said Servillon.

Lacking

Bohol lacks about 15,975 metric tones of fish to even up the balance and Municipal fishing alone provide it, says BFAR. To meet demand commercial fishers would need to upgrade their methods to enable them to venture into deeper waters or the shortfall must be met by aquaculture.

Statistical projects suggest that local fish supply, and so, local prices could improved by allowing aquaculture and mari-culture to expand and cover the 50 per shortage.

"There is a need to fully clarify the delineation of municipal waters and prohibit fishing vessels with at least three gross tons off the municipal waters," said Ghenie Mayol.

She said most municipal waters have been encroached by commercial fishers due to their inability to fish in the deep. This causes dwindling catch for more marginal fishers, thus the tendency to mark-up the price.

Servillon has urged local officials to encourage investors in both aqua and mari-culture to utilise hectares of inland waters and abandoned fish ponds in the province.

Ellen Hardy